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On Tuesday, the 1st of September, dozens of demonstrators in Shufa village near Tulkarem were protesting Israeli plans to confiscate 800 km2 of Palestinian land to build an industrial park. One elderly protester, 65-year-old Khairi Hannoun was arrested during the protest. He was wrestled to the ground by a soldier, who then proceeded to kneel on his neck and back as he put handcuffs on him. The video of this arrest was soon circulating on social media as it was so reminiscent of the horrific killing of George Floyd while in US police custody. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/09/video-shows-israeli-soldier-kneeling-protester-neck-200901195754268.html

  • Dear Lord, we pray that Israeli soldiers will stop using excessive force to disperse Palestinian protests. We pray too that the illegal confiscation of Palestinian land by the Israeli government will cease. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

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Abu Ahmad works for a low salary as a member of a sanitation service in Ramallah. He also lives with the challenge of his serious hearing impairment. His son is a member of a Palestinian dance group and, as a tribute to his father, the group performed a flash mob dance using sign language. The video of the dance has been widely viewed and appreciated in the community. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-GRUZl71Ho

  • Lord, at this time of pandemic, so many of us have come to notice and be thankful for those carrying out the essential work to sustain healthy communities. We thank you for this heartfelt tribute of a son to his father who has had to face many challenges in his life. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

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Jerusalem a is a gospel song with a catchy tune, written by the South African musician Master KG. Fans of the tune in Angola posted a video of their own choreography to the tune and this video went viral under the name of #JerusalemaDanceChallenge. In August the Jerusalem music collective, Jaw, uploaded a Palestinian version of the video, filmed in Bab el Majlis in the Old City, with the participation of Jerusalem’s Afro-Palestinian community. Local dancers created their unique version of the dance adding elements of dabkeh. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQ1AB5OrCks

  • ‘The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.’ (Ps.9:9-10) We thank you, Lord, for the Jerusalem a dance video from the young people in Jerusalem, sent with a loving tribute to the young people in South Africa. We pray that their joyful creation will inspire the hearts of young people facing oppression in Palestine, South Africa and around the world. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

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On Wednesday, the 2nd of September, a young Israeli Arab teacher and a mother of three children from Ramla, Sharifa Abu Muammar, was killed. Sharifa was preparing for the start of the new school year when she was shot and killed by a stray bullet from an illegal weapon. Violent crimes in the Arab community are on the increase, but little is being done by the Israeli police to curb the provision of illegal weapons.

  • Dear Lord, we are saddened by the violent death of Sharifa and sympathize with the shock and grief this will have caused her family and friends. We pray for groups who seek to reach Arab community leaders, as well as the Israeli police, to try to build safer and more equal communities. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

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Three young children were burnt to death in a fire in the Al-Nuseirat refugee camp in Gaza on Tuesday, the 1st of September. The fire is thought to have been caused by candles which were lit in the house during one of the frequent power cuts in the territory.

  • Dear Lord, we pray for the horrific deaths by fire of Yousef, Mohammad and Mahmoud Al-Hazeen. We pray for the family as they grieve their loss. We pray for the people of Gaza who have had to subsist on just a few hours of electrical power each day, due to the lack of fuel deliveries to the only power plant there. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

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The Kumi Now Online Initiative invited speakers from the Arab Educational Institute, (AEI), to talk about the Israeli separation wall and the annexation of the site of Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem on Tuesday, the 8th of September.

  • Dear Lord, we thank you for the work of the AEI and their work to shed light on the injustice of annexing the site of Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem. We pray for the people of Bethlehem confined by the separation wall and hemmed in by the illegal Israeli settlements. We think of them especially at this time of pandemic when so many dependent on tourism, will have lost their jobs. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

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‘Come, let’s see a movie’ is a three year project which has been launched by several Palestinian organizations with a view to helping young people from different areas and backgrounds to have a greater awareness of what conditions are like in Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem. With backing from the EU, the three Palestinian groups have designed a project to enable ten films to be made by young Palestinian women. These films will then be screened in community groups and the discussions arising from the films will be screened on television.

  • Lord, we are thankful for community projects such as this film project which can bring a greater awareness of the different challenges faced by young Palestinians. We pray that this project will bring hope and inspiration at a time when many are struggling with despair. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

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Lord, we also remember at this time a young woman, Dana Salah, a member of a Catholic youth group in Jerusalem. Dana was involved in a road accident and passed away from her injuries. We pray for the medical team who tried to save Dana and for her family and friends as they grieve. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

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On Wednesday, the 26th of August Father Firas Hijazin, a priest from the Franciscan Friars died of the coronavirus. Father Firas served in the Franciscan Terra Santa schools which were first founded in the Holy Land in the 16th century.  These schools have done so much to raise educational standards and to promote a message of peaceful co-existence between Jews, Muslims and Christians living in the Holy Land.

  • Lord, we pray for the family and friends of Father Firas as they mourn his death. We thank you for his life of service, particularly for his work in schools. We pray for comfort for the Franciscan community he served and the students he taught. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

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The villagers of Al-Araqib had their tents and shelters destroyed for the 177th time by the Israeli occupation forces on Thursday, the 27th of August. Since March 2000 the villagers have faced repeated harassment to try to force them off their land and into government-run townships.The Israeli authorities have also convicted Sheikh Sayyah al-Turi and his two sons, as well as Salam al-Turi on the charges of ‘building without a license’ and ‘seizing state lands’.

  • Dear Lord, we pray for the people of Al-Araqib as yet again their shelters are torn down. We pray for an end to merciless abuse of Palestinians by the Israeli authorities who order the demolition of homes even in this time of pandemic. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.