On Tuesday 4th August, an explosion rocked the Lebanese capital Beirut causing almost complete destruction of the port area and a very large number of deaths and injuries. The people of Lebanon were already struggling to deal with high levels of Covid19 and poverty especially among Syrian and Palestinian refugees.
O God, bring comfort to those who mourn, healing to those who are injured, and shelter to those who are homeless. Give strength to those who are working now to rebuild the shattered lives of the people of Beirut and protect those who are vulnerable especially at this time of Coronavirus. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.Read more
The Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) has published a new issue of its periodic magazine, “Al-Muntada”, in July 2020, in Arabic and English. The issue focuses on two main topics: Jerusalem and the Palestinian refugees’ right of return, and the Middle East region’s approach in facing the Coronavirus pandemic.Read more
The Occupied Palestinian Territories have recorded about 15,000 cases of coronavirus since the beginning of the outbreak. They are now experiencing a second and more severe wave of the pandemic, with the number of deaths recorded at 86 (as of the 2nd August). The Palestinian Health Authority has reported a spike of new cases in Hebron and East Jerusalem and are powerless to impose strict containment measures in these areas which are under Israeli control. The situation in these areas is exacerbated by Israeli nightly raids and arrests as well as the shutdown and demolition of testing centers set up in Silwan and Jenin.
Oh Lord, we cry out to you and pray that the Israeli authorities will cease their acts of harassment and aggression against the Palestinians. We pray that those living in overcrowded conditions, especially refugee camps, in the West Bank and Gaza will receive advice and support in how to limit their vulnerability to the virus. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayer.Read more
There has been a second wave of coronavirus infection in the occupied Palestinian Territories, as well as in Israel. There are currently 6,028 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the West Bank. 46 people have now died there, six of these deaths occurred since Monday, the 13th of July, including a two-week-old baby from Hebron, who had underlying health conditions. In Gaza 72 people have tested positive for the virus and one person has died. While in Israel 44,714 people have been confirmed to have the virus and 380 people have died.
Lord, we continue to pray for those suffering from the virus and for those who have recently lost loved ones to the pandemic. We pray for those in authority, that they would take wise and timely decisions to reduce the rate of infection among their communities. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.Read more
A Statement by the YWCA of Palestine on the Looming Israeli Annexation of the West Bank
15 July 2020
Although the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu has delayed the annexation of the 30% of the West Bank, including the over 250 illegal Israeli settlements and the Jordan Valley, this does not mean that this illegal move, which is rooted in President Trump’s so-called “Deal of the Century” announced back in January 2020 is annulled or stopped. For the Palestinians, it is a recipe for perpetuating apartheid and supporting Israel’s continued efforts to eradicate any hopes for a free independent Palestine and erase the Palestinian identity of the land.Read more
Under the theme “Creative Solidarity in Common Fragility,” people of faith all over the world are encouraged to demonstrate the power of prayer during the World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel. This special week of prayer coupled with action is annually held 13 – 21 September and includes the International Day of Peace on 21 September.
“Let us pray together for a lasting peace built on justice and dignity for all,” said Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca, interim general secretary of the World Council of Churches. “All those in the Holy Land deserve the freedom to lead full lives, now more than ever, in these turbulent times.”Read more
In the midst of a global pandemic, Israel remains committed to moving forward with unlawful plans to annex large swaths of Palestinian territory in the West Bank, in violation of international law and against the urging of the international community.
By preventing the creation of a Palestinian state, annexation would institutionalize an undemocratic system in which Israel would rule permanently over a Palestinian people denied self-determination and equal rights. It would have serious consequences for the stability of the region, putting a negotiated peace even further out of reach.
Palestinians living in the Holy Land already face daily injustices and discrimination. Annexation would entrench the continued denial of Palestinian self-determination, human rights, and dignity.Read more
The Palestinian Authority imposed a new Covid-19 lockdown on Friday, the 3rd of July, which has been extended for a further two weeks with enhanced restrictions. 472 new cases of coronavirus were announced on the 6th of July and there have now been 17 deaths in the occupied Palestinian Territories. The Palestinian Authority has called for the closure of border crossings and for a clampdown on any large gatherings, including weddings and funerals. Israel has recorded more than 330 deaths due to the virus.
Lord, the Covid-19 virus continues to be a cause of great concern and suffering in Israel/Palestine and in many other countries. We pray for wisdom for all those in authority who have to take measures to try to contain infection and yet enable people to earn their livelihoods. We pray for those families in Israel/Palestine and around the world who have lost loved ones to the virus. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayer.Read more
Last week, Sen. Chris Van Hollen (MD) introduced an amendment to the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to prohibit Israel from using U.S. Security Assistance Funds to unilaterally annex Palestinian territory in the West Bank. Senator Van Hollen was joined by twelve other Senators--Patrick Leahy (VT), Elizabeth Warren (MA), Chris Murphy (CT), Tom Udall (NM), Brian Schatz (HI), Martin Heinrich (NM), Bernie Sanders (VT), Tom Carper (DE), Tammy Baldwin (WI), Jeff Merkley (OR.), Tim Kaine (VA), and Sherrod Brown (OH).
With formal annexation of significant parts of the West Bank still on the table, this amendment is a significant and a proactive step forward by ensuring that the US does not financially support annexation and further enable oppression. The US should neither foot the bill, nor provide diplomatic cover for annexation.Read more
An Open Letter from Christian Clergy from the Bethlehem Area
July 7, 2020
Act with justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor anyone who has been robbed (Jeremiah 22:3)
We are writing this letter in our capacity as spiritual leaders of various Christian communities in the Bethlehem Area. The Israeli Government is planning to annex more occupied Palestinian land. According to the information they have released, this process could begin on July 1st. For Palestine, Bethlehem and particularly for its Christian population, this new process of annexation will be particularly catastrophic.Read more