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November 15 marks Palestinian Independence Day. Unfortunately, in the 31 years since the state was declared in 1988, independence is still not a reality.

  • Lord, we offer thanks for all the people and organizations working to bring about a just peace that will allow Palestine to experience actual independence. We pray for transformation and freedom in this land. Lord in your mercy…

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Sabeel Nazareth is planning to honour the work of Violet Khoury as she retires from their local office. Many foreign visitors on the Sabeel tour will remember Violet’s powerful testimony of her youth growing up in Nazareth as a Palestinian Christian, viewed as a second-class citizen in post 1948 Israel. She managed to complete her studies in pharmacology, first in Jerusalem and then in Rome and to succeed in setting up her own pharmacy against all the odds. She will be honoured as a strong and steadfast woman who worked hard to support her family, as well as supporting the work of Sabeel for many years. She will be joining the Sabeel General Assembly.

  • Thank you, Lord for the contribution of Violet Khoury to the work of Sabeel. We thank you for the gifts she has been blessed with and for the way she has used them to help others. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

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On Friday, the 15th of November Sabeel will be hosting a women’s activity day. Palestinian women will be coming together to cook traditional recipes eaten at Christian festivals.

  • Lord, we pray that the Sabeel Women’s Day will be a time of joy and fellowship as these women share their knowledge of how to prepare traditional dishes. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

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The Israeli authorities released two Jordanian citizens who had been detained under administrative detention for two months. Hiba al-Labadi and Abdul Rahman Miri crossed King Hussein’s Bridge to return to Jordan on Wednesday, the 6th of November. These arrests have further strained relations between Israel and Jordan, 25years after their peace treaty.

  • Lord, we are thankful for the release of Hiba and Abdul Rahman after the intervention of the Jordanian authorities. We remember that so many Palestinians are held in Israeli prisons for years under administrative detention, with no recourse to justice. We pray that this form of detention in Israel will cease. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer

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Israel’s highest court upheld the government’s decision to deport the local director of Human Rights Watch on Tuesday, the 5th of November. Omar Shakir, a US citizen, has been given twenty days before he must return to the US, on the grounds of his alleged support for the boycott movement. Under the 2017 law the Israeli government can block the entry or the visa renewal of anyone who supports a boycott of the Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

  • Lord, we pray for those who work for the Human Rights Watch in Israel. We pray they will continue to act as truthful witnesses and that attempts to silence their truth-telling will be thwarted. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.

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We consider the work of the Mennonite Palestine Israel Network (MennoPIN), in this week’s Kumi Now Initiative. MennoPIN works to raise awareness about home demolitions in the occupied Palestinian territories. The Israeli government issues less than 2% of Palestinian applications for building permits. It then demands the demolition of homes built without permits. It also uses the threat of demolition as collective punishment for any opposition to the Israeli government. Such harassment is ruled illegal by international law.

  • Lord, we pray for all those who are forced to demolish their own homes or to pay the Israeli government to demolish them in Palestine. We pray that this inhumane policy will cease, and that Palestinians will be granted the right to build homes for their families. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

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104 Palestinian civilians, including 43 children, a woman and a paramedic, were shot and injured by Israeli occupation forces’ (IOF) fire against peaceful protestors at the 82nd Great March of Return (GMR), this Friday, 08 November 2019. Israeli occupation forces continued the use of excessive force against peaceful protestors, as 41 civilians sustained live-bullet-injuries – including 2 children in critical condition- in addition to other injuries by rubber bullets and tear gas canisters mainly in protesters’ upper bodies.

  • Lord, we continue to pray for all who demonstrate for justice and equality. We pray in the name of Jesus, who proclaimed, ‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.’ (Matthew5:6) Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.

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It is just one month until Sabeel will host its first International Gathering from the 2nd to the 7th of December at various venues in Bethlehem, Palestine. The gathering will bring together different organizations working for a just peace in Palestine and Israel, including Kairos Palestine, Bethlehem Bible College, Al-Liqa and Dar al-Kalima. The gathering will also explore the Kumi Now initiative and ways in which the worldwide community can engage in non-violent action to achieve a just peace in Palestine/Israel.

  • Lord, we pray that you would help to bring those people to the Sabeel International Gathering who you want to use to bring about a just peace in the Holy Land. We ask, Lord, that you will bless those who come, so they have the eyes to see and the ears to hear the message you wish them to draw from the gathering. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

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A number of Norwegian lawyers and professors of law published the ‘Defend International Law’ paper on the 31st of October. This paper challenges their government’s position on Israel and its persistent violations of international law. They call for the introduction of sanctions against Israel for their serious human rights’ abuses perpetrated against Palestinians.

  • Lord, again and again we have cried out to lawmakers to help restore respect for international law and human rights in the Holy Land. We pray that lawmakers around the word will take up the Norwegian call for justice to be restored in Palestine/ Israel. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

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Last August two US Democrat Congresswomen, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar planned to visit the Palestinian Territories. Their visit was banned by Israel on the grounds that they had voiced their support for the boycott of Israel over their treatment of Palestinians. A new virtual reality application has now been made available so that everybody can visit the sites which would have been on their itinerary, including East Jerusalem, Hebron, and Bethlehem,( https://apps.apple.com/us/app/palestine-vr/id1483465433 ) and ( https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.Smart2it.VR.Smart2VR.PalestineVR&hl=en_US)

  • Lord, many people have visited Palestine and seen for themselves the impact of the oppressive policies of the Israeli government. We pray that more people will use the free virtual reality tours to witness the injustice suffered by Palestinians as a result of these policies. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.