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The results of the Palestinian Tawjihi (leavers exams) were released on Saturday 11th July and many young people are now graduating and looking to the future.

  • We pray for the thousands of young people who are celebrating their achievement and we remember the students who did not reach their target grades. May the students of Palestine use their education to better their communities and to strengthen the society in which they live. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.

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Jewish settlers from the Yitzhar settlement in the occupied Palestinian Territories set fire to olive groves south of Burin, near Nablus on Wednesday, July the 8th.  The fires destroyed dozens of olive trees. Meanwhile Israeli forces uprooted more than 200 olive trees near Yasuf village, north of Salfit. There are now 150 illegal settlements in the West Bank with about 500,000 Jewish settlers. Some of the more extreme settlers subject Palestinian farmers to frequent and violent attacks. These attacks are rarely prosecuted by the Israeli authorities.

  • Lord, we pray for the Palestinians living near the settlements who suffer harassment and destructive raids. We pray for an end to this violence and intimidation. We pray for an end to the occupation and a way forward which would bring peace, justice and stability to Israel/ Palestine. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

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On Monday, the 6th of July, Sadi Gharabli from Shajayeh in northern Gaza died of cancer in prison. The Israeli Prison Service (IPS) refused appeals to move him to the Ramla Prison Clinic for treatment. Sadi had served 26 years of his life sentence for resisting the occupation, 12 of those years in solitary confinement. The Palestinian Detainees Commission claim that his death in custody was a case of medical negligence and that he was one of 68 Palestinians who have died in Israeli prisons since 1967 due to such neglect.

  • Dear Lord, we pray for the family of Sadi as they grieve their loss. We pray that the IPS would observe their duty to care for the health and welfare of their prisoners, including those serving long sentences. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

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Local clergy from Bethlehem released a joint statement on the 7th of July about the planned annexation of the occupied West Bank. They represent the church communities of the Roman Catholics, the Melkite Catholics, the Greek Orthodox, and the Lutherans. They made it clear that such a move by the Israeli authorities would be the last straw for maintaining any viable Christian presence in the Holy Land, as many more Palestinians would be forced to emigrate.

  • Lord Jesus, the town of Bethlehem where you were born is now hemmed in on many sides by the separation wall and illegal settlements. It is overcrowded and there is no room for it to grow. We pray for our brothers and sisters in Palestine as they try to raise their families and for their pastoral leaders as they try to care for their church communities under occupation. Lord, so many Palestinian families here and elsewhere live under constant pressure and threat of harassment and eviction in the Holy Land. We pray that the illegal plan of annexation will not be implemented. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

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The Palestinian Authority imposed a new Covid-19 lockdown on Friday, the 3rd of July, which has been extended for a further two weeks with enhanced restrictions. 472 new cases of coronavirus were announced on the 6th of July and there have now been 17 deaths in the occupied Palestinian Territories. The Palestinian Authority has called for the closure of border crossings and for a clampdown on any large gatherings, including weddings and funerals. Israel has recorded more than 330 deaths due to the virus.

  • Lord, the Covid-19 virus continues to be a cause of great concern and suffering in Israel/Palestine and in many other countries. We pray for wisdom for all those in authority who have to take measures to try to contain infection and yet enable people to earn their livelihoods. We pray for those families in Israel/Palestine and around the world who have lost loved ones to the virus. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

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In Week 39 of the Kumi Now Initiative (Tuesday,14th July) representatives from Zochrot and other organisations explained the connection between the right of return and the Jewish National Fund which hides and erases the remains of Palestinian villages in Israel. In Week 40, Father Elias Chacour, (Archbishop emeritus and writer of ‘Blood Brothers’) and other guests will speak about the barriers to education experienced by Palestinian children.

  • Lord, we thank you for the way that technology can be used to help people around the world understand about the inequalities faced by Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. We pray for those who hear the webinars, that they may shine as lights before others (Matt 5:16) and expose the many injustices they discover. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

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Sabeel, along with the Palestinian Tour Guide Union, has been holding weekly online sessions for Palestinian tour guides to help them develop new skills during this time when there is no tourism. So far there have been sessions on idea generation, Palestinian food, and liberation theology.

  • Lord, we are thankful that many tour guides have come together to hear about various topics which may help them to develop their skills. We are grateful for the technology which allows this to happen and for the ability of the speakers to share their knowledge and skills. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

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Five Israeli and Palestinian human rights organisations (Gisha, Adalah, HaMoked, Physicians for Human Rights Israel, and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel)havesent an urgent letter to Defence Minister Benny Gantz, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Kamil Abu Rukun, demanding that Israel immediately ensure Palestinian travel through Erez Crossing. Since early March the Palestinian Authority has been stopping coordination with Israeli authorities in protest at plans to annex more of the West Bank, this has caused the issuing of permits for Gazans to cross the Erez crossing to all but cease.

  • Lord we pray that those in Gaza who require to pass into Israel for medical and humanitarian reasons will be given permission to do so. The ongoing Israeli blockade of the area continues to cause the failure of the Gaza medical system and impose huge suffering on the people. We pray that the blockade will end and justice be done for the people of Gaza so that they may have normal lives free from oppression and the risk of bombing. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

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Despite the ongoing Covid19 pandemic and increase in cases, Israeli occupation authorities have begun construction of almost 200 new housing units in the illegal Israeli settlement of Neve Daniel. These new housing units are being built on land belonging to the Palestinian villages of Nahalin and al-Khader. Throughout the pandemic, Israeli occupation forces and settler groups have used restrictions and lock downs to seize more land for settlement expansion.

  • O Lord, we see the destruction of livelihoods and homes continue as Palestinians suffer under the combined hardships of occupation, restrictions and lockdown. We pray that justice will prevail and that, one day, Palestinians will be able to live peaceably on their own land and in their own homes without the threat of demolition or forced displacement.

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Benjamin Netanyahu’s self-imposed date for annexation of July 1st has come and gone with no changes on the ground. During this time numerous voices from the international community, Palestinian groups, and Israelis have come together to call for the prospect of further annexation of the West Bank to cease.

  • Lord, we pray that international powers will apply real pressure to the Israeli government and their supporters in the United States to bring an end to the prospect of further illegal annexation of the West Bank. We pray that Palestinians living in the areas under threat will have this threat removed and be able to live in peace. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.