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This week’s Kumi Now online gathering focused on how the mental health and well-being of the Palestinian people has been affected by more than seventy years of Israeli occupation. Kumi Now will look at who is profiting from the occupation in the online gathering on Tuesday, the 21st of October. Governments, churches and individuals are being challenged to consider if their links with companies which profit from the occupation or trade with settlements are helping to sustain an illegal and divisive system.

Lord, our hearts cry out to you over the way the Israeli authorities seek to subjugate the Palestinian people. We pray that voices of conscience in the international community will speak out forcibly to challenge the escalation of violence and loss of Palestinian lives under the Israeli occupation.
Lord, in your mercy…

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Several Palestinians, including a three-year-old child, were injured when Israeli settlers attacked residents of Masafer Yatta, in the South Hebron Hills on Tuesday, the 28th of September. The settlers attacked the Palestinian residents, their homes, and vehicles, destroyed their crops and uprooted dozens of trees. Israeli soldiers supported the settlers by firing tear gas canisters and stun grenades at the residents.

  • Lord, we pray for the Palestinian communities who live under the constant threat of harassment from settlers and Israeli soldiers. We pray that the Israeli government will start to meet its legal obligations under international law to protect Palestinian residents and to put in place the basic services they need.
    Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

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Palestinian authorities are pressing Turkish officials for more information concerning six Palestinian men and one Palestinian woman who have recently disappeared in Turkey. They have all vanished separately over the past month, apparently without trace. Two of them are students, while others have been working in the country for some time.

  • Lord, we pray for the safety of the Palestinians who cannot be contacted in Turkey. We pray that the authorities will search for them and that they will soon be restored to their families and friends.
    Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

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On Wednesday, the 29th of September, the Palestinian Museum in Birzeit opened a new exhibition, entitled ‘A People by the Sea’. It presents a two-hundred-year-old narrative featuring the important landmarks of the Palestinian coast.

  • Lord, we thank you for this imaginative new exhibition which will remind Palestinians of strong links to their coastal cities and to the besieged city of Gaza. We lament that many Palestinians have never been able to visit the coast, due to the travel restrictions imposed on them by the Israeli occupation.
    Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

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The Israeli police have asked the Justice Ministry to enact legislation which would allow them to override the civil liberties of Palestinians living in Israel. In response to the higher levels of organised crime in Arab communities, the Israeli police want the right to search homes without warrants and to seize security camera footage without court orders. The Israeli police do not require these rights to maintain order in Israeli communities.

  • Lord, there is much concern about high levels of violent crime in Palestinian communities in Israel. We pray that civil rights of the Palestinian people will not be further undermined by the drastic measures sought by the Israeli police to reduce these levels.
    Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

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On Friday, the 1st of October, 694 Palestinians were arrested by the Israeli police at checkpoints set up in the Old City of Jerusalem, as they tried to make their way to worship at the Al Aqsa Mosque. They were arrested for entering the city from the West Bank without legal authorisation.

  • Lord, we pray for the release of the stranglehold of Israeli checkpoints, fixed and temporary, which deny Palestinians the right to visit families, schools, hospitals, places of worship or to obtain work. We pray that Palestinians will be able to move around their land freely without restrictions, as the Israelis do.
    Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

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This week’s Kumi Now online gathering remembered the International Day of Non-Violence by looking at organisations working non-violently to bring about a just peace in Palestine/Israel. Another important date, the World Mental Health Day, on the 10th of October, will be marked by Kumi Now at the next Tuesday meeting. The Kumi Now document states, ‘the people of Palestine face staggering concrete problems inspired by the Israeli occupation… but there is in addition the intangible burden of psychological damage which these physical violations impose on victims, families and witnesses.’

  • Faithful Lord Jesus, help us to cast our burdens on you. We pray to you and ask you to shine your light on those who suffer in our world and bring us hope.
    Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

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On Wednesday 22nd September, Israeli forces sealed off the archaeological site of Sebastia, near the northern city of Nablus. The site, believed to be the burial site of John the Baptist, has become a site of cultural conflict with Israeli attempts to seize control in the area.

Lord, sites of archeological and religious importance are under constant threat from occupation forces and settlers. We pray for an end to all violations committed by both settlers and the Israeli military forces against our people, property and heritage.
Lord in your mercy…hear our prayers.

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On Thursday, the 23rd of September, the Appeals Court in The Hague heard an appeal objecting to the granting of immunity to two former Israeli military commanders, Benny Gantz and Amin Eskel. Ismail Ziada is bringing a case against the commanders for the targeted bombing attack on his home in Gaza, which killed six members of his family, including a young boy, and a visiting friend.

Lord, you are just and righteous and we place our trust in you. We pray that countries around the world will continue to uphold international law and will hold to account those who commit crimes against humanity.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

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Palestinian pupils were deliberately prevented from reaching their school on time on Wednesday, the 22nd of September. Israeli forces stopped them from using the Nablus to Ramallah road and they had to scramble over rough terrain to get to their school in the village of al-Lubban Ash-Sharqiya, south of Nablus. While in the nearby village of Ammuriya a 17-year-old student was detained for two hours before being released.

Lord, so many Palestinian pupils have their education disrupted by the Israeli authorities. We pray that the Israeli government will ensure equal access and resources to the education of Palestinian and Israeli children alike.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.