According to a report from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, dated the 2nd of June, there have been 630 Palestinians who have contracted COVID 19 in the occupied Palestinian Territories. The Palestinian Authority acted swiftly to curb the pandemic with curfews, travel bans, and school closures. These actions kept COVID 19 cases at a low level, with five deaths reported and only one of them occurring in Gaza. The state of emergency announced on the 5th of March was ended on the 25th of May and the lock-down was eased, though physical distancing and health protection measures are still advised.
Lord, we are thankful for the prompt action of the Palestinian Authority to protect those living in Palestine and Gaza. We pray for the many families across the world who have lost loved ones and we pray that, before long, the pandemic will cease to cause such devastation. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.Read more
Lectionary Selection: Matthew 10:24-39
Prayers for Israel/Palestine:
Jesus, when you spoke of times of trial to come, you didn’t mince words: hatred, betrayal, persecution, hidden secrets revealed, sparrows falling, hairs counted, a sword, and family division. During this time of trial—pandemic threat, political divide, created chaos and violence around the world—calm our hearts and clear our minds as you open our ears to hear you say again, “Be not afraid.”Read more
As numbers of confirmed Covid-19 cases increase in Israel (mainly from infections in schools), four new cases were registered by the Ministry of Health on Thursday, the 4th of June, raising the total number of cases in Palestine to 640. Three of the cases were recorded near Jenin, while the fourth was in Gaza. The coronavirus has led to an abrupt decline in economic activity and many Palestinians have lost their livelihoods.
Dear Lord, we pray for all those who have been affected by the pandemic in Palestine/Israel and around the world. We pray especially for those who have lost loved ones, those who are struggling to recover and those who have lost their income as a result of the economic downturn. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayer.Read more
The Link, published on a bi-monthly basis, is Americans for Middle East Understanding's primary education and information tool. More than 175 issues of The Link have followed since the first issue in 1968.
The Link archive constitutes a body of informed commentary, fact and anecdotal evidence that is all the more valuable for writers, researchers and historians because each issue (for the most part) covers only one subject.
In the current issue, Jonathan Cook writes that Israel has exploited the steady decline in the numbers of Palestinian Christians to advance its claim that they are being hounded from the region by Muslim extremists. But the real blame lies with Israel and the foreign churches. Click here to read the current issue.Read more
In a letter sent to members of the US Congress yesterday (June 2, 2020), ecumenical Christian leaders expressed their opposition to anticipated Israeli plans to move forward with annexations of segments of the occupied Palestinian West Bank, as soon as July 1. Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ General Ministers and Presidents, the Rev. Teresa Hord Owens and the Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer, as well as Global Ministries' Co-Executives, the Rev. Dr. Julia Brown Karimu and the Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia Thompson, were among the 26 signatories. THe letter states, "We are committed, as individuals, and as leaders of faith communions and organizations, to the achievement of a just peace in Israel/Palestine that respects and defends the human rights of all who live in that land we call Holy. Unilateral annexation of occupied Palestinian land by the State of Israel is not in the cause of a just peace..."Read more
“Liberation, not annexation”
A statement from Bishop Sani Ibrahim Azar
Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land
The peace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
At the time of this writing, the world is fighting a virus that has swept the globe, challenging economies, burdening health systems, and destroying lives. The congregations and leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land have not been exempted from this suffering. We pray, along with all of you, for a vaccine and for wise decisions by governments and citizens.Read more
Israeli police have shot and killed an unarmed Palestinian near the Old City in occupied East Jerusalem. The slain man, 32-year-old Iyad el-Hallak, attended and worked at a school for people with special needs in the Old City, close to the spot where he was shot on Saturday morning. el-Hallak who is a person of disability was heading to the school when he was shot by several bullets and he was left on the ground bleeding for a while until he died. The shooting came a day after Israeli soldiers killed a Palestinian near the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah who the Israeli occupation forces alleged had tried to ram them with his vehicle.
Dear Lord, we remember the family of Iyad as they grieve for the loss of their son. We pray that the Israeli soldiers and their commanders are held accountable for their crimes. Bless us God with courage and determination to continue to speak truth to power and our words never abandon the marginalized. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.Read more
Written by Dr. Bernard Sabella, Executive Secretary
Department of Service for Palestinian Refugees
Jerusalem, May 28, 2020
On Covid-19 it looks like some down trending in infections and speeding up of recoveries have occurred across the region. The relatively low mortality experienced in the countries where DSPR works is due according to analysts to ‘demographic good fortune’ with more younger generations in the population and the fact that this virus is age-gradient, meaning that the elderly are more prone to infections than the younger groups. The death rate per million population according to worldometers is 0.6 for Palestine; 0.9 for Lebanon and Jordan and 31 for Israel.Read more
The spread of the Covid-19 virus across the world is being monitored on a world map and dashboard run by the Johns Hopkins University Centre for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE). Initially the website listed the number of Covid-19 cases recorded by the Palestinian Ministry of Health under the entry for Palestine, separate from Israel’s data.
At the end of March Birzeit University challenged the CSSE to explain why the Palestine entry was first changed to ‘occupied Palestinian territories’ and then, on the following day, it’s figures were merged into the entry for Israel.
Dear Lord, we pray that vital information about the spread of the coronavirus in Palestine would be restored on the CSSE. We pray that scientists will not be drawn into political actions attempting to erase Palestine from the map of the world. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayer.Read more
Written by the Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb, President
Dar al-Kalima University and the Diyar Consortium
Bethlehem, May 21, 2020
We are delighted to present this booklet with eleven contributions by prominent public figures in Palestine. We hope that these eleven papers will reveal different aspects of life in Palestine under COVID-19. This pandemic is changing both the global and the local scene in Palestine. As the world seeks an effective global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Palestinians hope for an effective international coalition to bring an end to occupation. Just as we continue our struggle to defeat the corona virus, we will continue our work for justice, peace and a life with dignity.
The book is downloadable for free by clicking here.