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The Kumi Now initiative focuses on the work of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, (ICAHD), which works to stop house demolitions carried out against Palestinians. ICAHD also works to achieve peace in Palestine/ Israel by advocating for the equal rights of Palestinians and Israelis. It focuses on the human cost of the Israeli occupation and raises a critical Israeli voice to the public debate abroad. It is estimated that since 1967 Israel has demolished 54,000 Palestinian homes in the occupied territory.

·      Dear Lord Jesus, as an adult you knew what it was like to have nowhere to lay your head, but as a child you were provided with a home. We pray for the Palestinian children who have seen their homes demolished before their eyes. Often their homes are destroyed because the necessary building permits have been withheld by the very authorities who bulldoze their properties. Lord you see the suffering and trauma this inflicts on families. We thank you for the work of ICHAD as they seek to draw attention to the Israeli policy of home demolitions. Lord, in your mercy…

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The ‘Great March of Return’ and ‘Breaking the Siege’ protests continued on Friday 14th June. Israeli forces used live ammunition and rubber coated steel bullets injuring 49 protestors, including a female paramedic east of Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip. The weekly protests call for lifting the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip and for the return of the Palestinian refugees to their ancestral homes in pre-1948 Palestine.

      ·         Lord, we continue to pray for the safety of those taking part in the non-violent protest. May their cries be heard, and international pressure brought to bear to recognise the right of Palestinian refugees to return to the land which they were forced to leave. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.    

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Sabeel Jerusalem will host various groups this week, some for a talk about the realities on the ground and the work of Sabeel, some will join us for prayer, and one will take part in a tour.

  • Lord, we are grateful for all of the groups who take time to come to Sabeel whether to find out about the realities on the ground or to hear about the work of Sabeel with the local community and beyond. Grant the staff and volunteers of Sabeel the strength and grace to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with you, and to share your liberating love with all who they come into contact with. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

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The World Council of Churches (WCC) continues to have a presence in Palestine and Israel through the Ecumenical Accompaniment programme (EAPPI). These volunteers, stationed in various places throughout the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem act as a reminder to Israel that the international Christian community care deeply about the ongoing situation and are unwilling to just stand by.

  • Gracious and protecting Lord, encourage and strengthen the leadership of the WCC as they look to the future of EAPPI and their presence here in the land of the Holy One. Open the eyes of those who engage as accompaniers to see the realities on the ground and grant them the grace to speak out, so that they may share what they have seen when they return to their homes. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

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Last Sunday, churches around the world celebrated Pentecost and remembered the beginning of the Church. Now, as then, the church here serves in a context of occupation and seeks to show an alternative way in a world driven by empire.

  • Blessed Redeemer of all the Earth, this week we pray especially for your Church in the Middle East. Stand with the women, men, and children who are your body in the Middle East and send your Holy Spirit upon them. Protect your children from all evil and let the flame of your love, truth, grace, and goodness burn within us all. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

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The Kumi Now initiative this week concentrates on Christian Zionism and the work of Peacemaker Trust. We encourage all those engaging with this initiative to read the information on the growing problem Christian Zionism causes in Palestine and Israel and the work of the Peacemaker Trust.

  • Lord, give strength and courage to those engaging with the Kumi Now initiative that they may engage fully with this week and the Kumi action. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

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The Tawjihi (school leaver) exams began last week for students at Palestinian schools. In any context, exams are difficult and stressful enough without the ongoing issues of checkpoints, movement restrictions, and other problems caused by the ongoing Israeli occupation.

  • God, we lift up the many students finishing the school year and all of those taking the national Tawjihi exams. We pray for the coming summer months, and the few opportunities available to Palestinian youth. We ask that all young people would be able to enjoy a safe, fun, and productive summer. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

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The Great March of Return was replaced on Friday with prayers for Eid al-Fitr to celebrate the end of Ramadan. From 30th March – 7th June 2019, 131 Palestinians were killed and 13,900 injured by Israeli dispersal tactics and use of live fire (OCHA/UN)

  • Lord, our hearts are gladdened to hear that our Muslim brothers and sisters in Gaza were able to celebrate Eid al-Fitr despite the ongoing desperate situation. We pray that the Israeli administration come to realise that the people of Gaza cannot continue to be oppressed and that their legal right to return to their homes must be recognised. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

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A baby named Shahd was the only survivor of triplets born in January 2019 in Manasseh Hospital, East Jerusalem. Her mother had to return home to Gaza for the funeral of the baby girl’s siblings. The mother was then prevented from returning to care for her surviving baby for six months by the permit system imposed by the Israeli government. She was finally able to reunite with her baby on Tuesday, the 28th of May.

  • Dear Lord, we pray for the Palestinian children who are left to undergo serious medical treatment alone in hospital, while their parents wait for permits to join them. We pray that this inhumane policy will be revoked and that families would be allowed to support their children in hospital. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

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On Sunday, 2nd June Israel held its annual Jerusalem Day celebrations to commemorate the occupation of East Jerusalem during the 1967 war. These celebrations were marked with extreme right-wing Israeli youths marching through the Old City to Damascus Gate shouting chants against Christianity and Islam whilst proclaiming Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel. There were also conflicts at al-Aqsa Mosque when Israeli Jews entered the compound to pray – something which is normally forbidden especially during the final few days of Ramadan.

  • Lord, we pray that the Israeli authorities will come to realise that there is no peace and justice without the recognition of international law. Grant to people of all religions the peace to come together and pray in their sacred places without the threat of interference or violence. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.