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On Wednesday, the 14th of April, the United Nation’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, (OCHA), released their report on the rise in Israeli settler attacks on Palestinians. In 2020 experts documented 771 incidents of settler violence causing injuries to 133 Palestinians and damaging 9646 trees and 184 vehicles.

  • Lord, we pray for a halt to the illegal Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank and an end to the  settler intimidation of Palestinians to try and force them from their land. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

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The British-Palestinian filmmaker, Farah Nabulsi’s short film, ‘The Present’ ,won the award for Best Short Film 2021 on Saturday, the 10th of April at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, (BAFTA). The film tells the story of Yousef, (played by Saleh Bakri), taking his young daughter to buy a wedding anniversary gift for his wife in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

  • Lord Jesus, you are the light for the nations, we pray that you will open the eyes of those who are blind to the suffering endured by those living under occupation in the Holy Land. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

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The Israeli Supreme Court ruled on Monday, the 12th of April, that the Israeli authorities could continue to use its Cyber Unit to conduct censorship in cooperation with social media outlets, including Facebook and Twitter. The state is not required to inform social media users of any censorship and they cannot defend their rights in the face of any censorship.

  • Lord, we pray that the Israeli authorities will start to value freedom of expression and stop practising censorship on social media users in Palestine/ Israel. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

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On Saturday, the 10th of April, the municipality of Bethlehem and the Palestinian Ministry of Culture streamed the Bethlehem Capital of Culture performances, postponed since last year due to the coronavirus . Highlights of artistic performances and discussions are available online at bethlehemculturalfestival.com.

  • Lord, we give thanks for the creativity of artists, dancers and writers who can use their gifts to lift our spirits at a time of pandemic and economic need. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

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On Friday, the 9th of April, three Palestinians living in two different towns in the north of Israel were killed. The death toll of Palestinians living in Israel now stands at 25 victims since the beginning of the year.

  • Lord, we pray that the neglectful attitude shown by the Israeli police to violent crime committed in Palestinian communities in Israel will change. We pray that the police and Palestinian community leaders will work together to curb the rise in homicide. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

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A thirteen-year-old Palestinian boy lost the sight in his right eye on Friday, the 9th of April, when he was shot by an Israeli soldier in the Bab al-Zawiya neighbourhood of Hebron. Izz al-Din was working in a vegetable shop after school and happened to look out at an incident between soldiers and protestors nearby when the shooting occurred.

  • Lord, we pray for Izz as he recovers from the trauma of losing the sight in his eye. We pray that this incident will be thoroughly investigated by the Israeli military police. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

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Amnesty International’s Annual Report, released on Wednesday, the 7th of April, spoke out against the ‘institutionalised discrimination’ shown by the Israeli authorities in their failure to provide vaccine for five million Palestinians. Cases of coronavirus have risen sharply in the West Bank and Gaza and only 100,000 people have been inoculated in the West Bank and 30,000 in Gaza.

  • Lord, we pray that more vaccine will be made available by Covax and by wealthier countries to help the health authorities in the occupied Palestinian Territories and Gaza to bring down the virus infection rate. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

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This week’s Kumi Now online gathering looked at how the Israeli military enforces its policy of Administrative Detention on Palestinian prisoners. By the end of 2019 there were 464 Palestinians being imprisoned under administrative detention. Next week’s Kumi Now will focus on the Nation State Law, as passed by the Knesset on the 1st of May, 2018.  https://zoom.us/j/94679502800

  • Lord, we pray that the hundreds of Palestinians held under administrative detention without prospect of charges or fair trial may not succumb to despair. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

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This week our Muslim brothers and sisters in Palestine, Israel and around the world will begin observing the holy month of Ramadan. 

  • Lord, we pray that amidst the violence and oppression in much of the Middle East, and that those who observe Ramadan will find it a time of peace and reflection. We also pray that Ramadan will be a joyous time as family and friends break bread together.  Lord in your mercy… 

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Cassif, the only Jewish Knesset member in the predominantly Arab Joint List was beaten by Israeli police during a protest in East Jerusalem. Demonstrations by both Palestinians and Israelis take place regularly in Sheikh Jarrah to protest Israeli court decision to evict 550 Palestinians from their homes.

  • Lord, we continue to be overwhelmed by the unjust and abusive actions of Israel. We ask for your spirit to give us the strength to continue the nonviolent resistance to bring the insanity of the Israeli occupation to an end. Lord in your mercy…