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As Covid19 continues to affect populations throughout the world, we see a further rise in cases in both Palestine and Israel. With around 1000 cases daily, Israel is at a peak higher than that seen at the beginning of the pandemic with lockdowns and restrictions starting to be reintroduced. The West Bank was locked down from Friday 3rd July for a period of five days, but this may be extended as hundreds of cases are reported in the Hebron area and in the refugee camps of Bethlehem.

  • Lord, we pray for all those around the world who are affected by this pandemic, especially for the medical and emergency services who continue to place themselves at great risk to treat the sickest patients. We pray for those in the West Bank under lockdown as they once again adjust to an even more restricted way of life under continuing occupation. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.

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In Week 38 of the Kumi Now Initiative (Tuesday 7th July) the topic of Morally Responsible Investing was discussed with Sabeel-Kairos UK. On Tuesday 14th July there will be the opportunity to listen to the Israeli NGO Zochrot on the topic of Right of Return and the Jewish National Fund. (www.kuminow.com/online )

  • Dear Lord, we thank you for those who are willing to express their support for the legitimate struggle for justice and peace through their financial investments. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

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Lord, we celebrate the consecration of Bishop Hosam Naoum, Archbishop Elect of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem on the 14th of June. We also celebrate the ordination of Rev. Rodny Said as a Pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan and the Holy Land. Lord, may these men be both blessed and a blessing in their service and follow your example to ‘nourish and cherish’ the church (Eph 5:29)

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The Jerusalem District Court turned down a final request by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate to block the transfer of church property in the Old City on Wednesday, the 24th of June. A disputed contract for the sale of the property had been signed in 2004 with the Jewish settler group, Ateret Cohanim. This group works to populate the Old City and East Jerusalem neighbourhoods with Jewish residents by purchasing properties from non-Jewish owners, often through holding companies.

  • Lord, we pray for the Christian community, especially Greek Orthodox, and for their loss of further property and presence in the city of Jerusalem. We pray for all the members of the body of Christ who remain as witnesses in the Holy Land. We thank you for the ones who remain, even when so many have been forced to leave. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

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Omar Yaghi, an eight-month old baby boy from Gaza died on Thursday, the 18th of June. An operation on his heart had to be postponed by one month at the Sheba Medical Centre in Israel as permission did not arrive in time for him to travel. The Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee, (PCAC), which would normally oversee arrangements for families from Gaza to attend Israeli hospitals, has suspended all agreements with Israel in protest against the proposed annexation. Although Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, (PHRI) intervened in Omar’s case to secure another operation date, the wait was too long and he died.

  • Lord, we pray for the family of Omar as they come to terms with their heartbreaking loss. We pray too for the hundreds of other Palestinian patients who are being denied lifesaving treatments, as a result of the threat to annex large areas of the occupied West Bank. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

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Ahmed Erekat, a young Palestinian, was shot dead at a checkpoint near Bethlehem on Tuesday, the 23rd of June. He was left to bleed to death for over an hour while Israeli soldiers denied access to Palestinian medical personnel from a Red Crescent ambulance which attended the scene. Ahmed, nephew of the PLO Secretary General, Saeb Erekat, was due to be married in two weeks’ time. He had been going to collect his mother and sister from a beauty salon, where they had been preparing for his sister’s wedding when he was stopped by border police. Israeli forces stated that before they opened fire, Ahmed attempted to ram his car at a border police officer.

  • Dear Lord, we pray for the family of Ahmed and particularly for his fiancée as they grieve his loss. We pray that the Israeli security forces would not use undue violence and that international courts may hold them accountable for any crimes they may commit. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

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On Tuesday, the 23rd of June,1,080 parliamentarians across 25 European countries sent a letter to European governments and leaders outlining their reasons for opposing the Israeli government’s plan to annex West Bank territory. They also expressed their determination to use their diplomatic influence to promote a lasting and just solution to the conflict.

  • Dear Lord Jesus, we plead for your compassion and care as we hear about Israeli plans to acquire more land by force and by breaking international laws. We pray that there might be a just and peaceful solution to the conflict which would guarantee equal rights for both the Palestinians and the Israelis. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

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There has been a spike of Covid19 infections across Palestine, including outbreaks in Nablus and Hebron. 195 new infections were recorded on Sunday, 28th June and this resurgence in cases has necessitated lockdowns throughout the West Bank, including a 2-day lockdown of Bethlehem, the banning of all weddings, and the closure of churches and mosques across the West Bank.

  • Lord, we ask that wisdom would be granted to all those with responsibility to try to contain these new outbreaks of the coronavirus in the occupied Palestinian Territories. We pray for the recovery of those people who have been infected. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

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In Week 37 of the Kumi Now Initiative anyone who had registered for an online gathering was treated to a special evening celebrating Palestinian music and poetry. Next Tuesday, the 7th of July there will be an online session addressing Morally Responsible Investing with Sabeel-Kairos UK, at 6pm, Palestine Time, (for details see: http:/www.kuminow.com/online)

  • Dear Lord, we thank you for the rich heritage of Palestinian music, poetry, and painting. We thank you for the artists who keep their inheritance alive by using their gifts to reach out to their people at a time of suffering. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

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There has been an increase in violence throughout the Palestinian Arab communities, both in East Jerusalem and throughout Israel. This increase in violence has led to a number of injuries and deaths. Increased pressure caused by unemployment due to the Covid19 pandemic and the ongoing occupation has increased tensions.

  • Lord, we hear of the tragic increase in violence between families and others in the Palestinian Arab communities. We pray that the violence will cease, families can find ways to live in peace, and that the causes of this increase will end. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.