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Two Palestinian prisoner advocacy groups have reported the unexplained death in Israeli custody of Maher Saasa. Maher had been in prison since 2006 and was suffering from several chronic illnesses. He was given a coronavirus inoculation the day before his death.

  • Lord, we pray for the family of Maher, including his six children, as they grieve his loss. We pray that the circumstances of his death in an Israeli prison will be fully investigated, particularly whether he was granted proper medical care during his incarceration and whether he was subjected to any inhumane treatment. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

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On Sunday, the 17th of January, Israeli settlers attacked the village of Madama, south of Nablus. An eleven year old girl, Hala Mashhour al-Qat was on her way to her uncle’s home, close to her own home in the village, when settlers started throwing stones at her and tried to abduct her. Her screams brought her mother and her uncle running to help and they managed to stop her being taken by the settlers. She was traumatized by the incident and was left with cuts and bruises to her face.

  • Lord, we are so shocked by this attempt by settlers to abduct a young and defenseless girl. We are thankful that her family responded so quickly to her cries for help and that she was rescued. We pray that the Israeli government will recognize the escalation in brutal settler violence and prosecute the perpetrators. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

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Israeli forces have issued demolition orders on a primary school and a mosque under construction in the Masafer Yatta area, south of Hebron. The Israeli authorities cite the lack of building permits, although they rarely grant permits to Palestinians in the occupied territories The school is one of seventeen schools built by the Palestinian Authority, with funding from the European Union, to serve marginalised rural communities.

  • Lord, we pray that the demolitions in Masafer Yatta will not be carried out by the Israeli authorities. We pray that international lawmakers and governments will challenge Israel’s widespread policy of  demolishing Palestinian buildings and  denying building permits to Palestinians. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

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The chairman of the Palestinian Central Elections Commission, Hanna Nasser, announced that national elections are due to take place for the Palestinian people this spring. Two million Palestinians in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza will be able to take part in the first elections to be held in the past fifteen years. Talks between the different Palestinian factions will be held in Cairo this coming week to ensure that any obstacles to the elections can be overcome.

  • Dear Lord, we are thankful that Palestinians will soon be given the opportunity to participate in  the democratic election of their governing representatives.We pray that the different political factions will work hard to ensure that free and fair elections are held in the spring. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

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In the past week the people of Gaza have been attacked by the Israeli military and the Israeli navy. On Saturday, the 16th of January, Israeli soldiers based in military watchtowers along the border, east of Khan Yunis, fired shots at farmers working in their fields. Fishermen sailing within the prescribed limits off the northern shores of Gaza on Tuesday, the 19th of January, were forced to return to land when the Israeli navy attacked them with powerful water cannons.

  • Lord, we bring to you the people of Gaza, struggling to survive during this thirteen year blockade. We pray for an end to the blockade and to attacks from the Israeli military. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

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This week’s Kumi Now online meeting at 6pm (Jerusalem Time) will consider Israel’s attempt to change the status of Jerusalem. The international community rejects Israel’s claim to legitimate authority over the city, as it imposed military occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967. However, the Israeli government continues to claim sovereignty over East and West Jerusalem, in contravention of international law. It also enforces discriminatory practices with a view to increasing the Israeli communities, while reducing the numbers of Palestinians living in East Jerusalem.

  • Lord Jesus, you lamented over Jerusalem before your arrest and crucifixion, ‘Would that you, even you, had known on this day, the things that make for peace!’(Luke19:42).  We pray for justice and peace for Palestinians living in East Jerusalem. We pray for an end to Israel’s contempt for international law in the way it is attempting to annex East Jerusalem and to force many Palestinians to leave the city. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

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This week Kennett Larsen, a Norwegian friend of Palestine sadly died at the age of 66. Kennett had worked as a trade unionist and journalist in his own country and had participated in delegations to the West Bank and Lebanon. He set up a store in Oslo called Handala, which promoted Palestinian products.

  • Lord, we thank you for the life and witness of Kennett Larson and grieve for his loss to his family and friends. We give thanks for his willingness to work as an advocate of justice for the people of his own country and for  the Palestinian people. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

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An Israeli district court banned any further screening of the film ‘Jenin, Jenin’ on Monday, the 11th of January. The film sheds light on Israeli army violations against Palestinians at the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank in 2002. The director, Muhammad Bakri has been required to compensate the Israeli soldier plaintiff and to cover all the legal costs of the long drawn-out case.

  • Lord, we thank you for the courage of film-makers who continue to exercise their right to freedom of expression by focusing on contentious issues. We pray that the Israeli judiciary will respect the freedom of expression in their land and call to account any violations committed by the Israeli military or other authorities. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

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The Israeli government approved the construction of 800 new settlement units in the occupied West Bank on Monday, the 11th of January. This political move is seen as an attempt to secure as much settlement expansion as possible before President Trump leaves office.

  • Lord, we pray for international powers and governments to speak out against the plunder of Palestinian land and the rapid expansion of illegal Israeli settlements. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

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Critical public health information has not been made available to the Palestinian community in Israel, according to human rights’ organisations. After almost a year of the pandemic, information about the coronavirus and emergency help has not been translated into Arabic.

  • Lord we pray that important information about the pandemic would be made available to all who live in Israel in their own languages, including the Arabic language for the Palestinians who live inside Israel. After almost a year of the pandemic, information about the corona virus and emergency help has not been translated into Arabic. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.