On Tuesday, the 12th of May, the Palestinian Health Minister, Dr Al Kaila stated that Palestine had not recorded any new case of COVID-19 for the fifth consecutive day running. The first cases of the virus showed up in Bethlehem. The town has now been declared virus-free, but it has been hit by a very serious economic downturn caused mainly by the cessation of tourism.
Dear Lord, we pray for all those in Palestine/Israel and around the world who have lost loved ones in the COVID-19 pandemic. We pray too for those who have lost their livelihoods and are now destitute, that support may be offered to those in need. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayer.Read more
Last Friday, May 15, Palestinians commemorated Nakba Day. “Nakba,” an Arabic word that means “catastrophe,” is how Palestinians describe what happened to them following Israel’s declaration of independence in May 1948 and the corresponding war. During the period, more than 500 Palestinian towns and villages were destroyed by the nascent Israeli state’s military, resulting in the forcible displacement and dispossession of more than 750,000 Palestinians from their homes and villages. Today, those still living and their descendants, comprise more than 5 million Palestinian refugees, whose rights of return and/or compensation for their losses as articulated in UN resolution 194 (1948) remain unfulfilled.Read more
This June marks 53 years of Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem. To bring activists around the world together for Palestine, Kumi Now is announcing the next step of our journey: Hosting weekly video conferences to connect activists with the organizations working for Palestine and get everyone involved in activism for Palestine.Read more
Pilgrims participating in our alternative tour earlier this year were meeting with a settler in the Gush Etzion settlement block, just outside of Bethlehem, when President Trump announced what he had been heralding as his Deal of the Century. The 180-page, so-called peace proposal is formally titled, Peace to Prosperity: A Vision to Improve the Lives of Palestinian and Israeli People.Read more
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNWRA), has launched a new emergency appeal to raise $93.4 million. The UNWRA appeal is set to prevent a disastrous situation that could leave thousands of lives at risk, by providing basic needs such as food, water and health care to an impoverished population.
Lord, we pray that the international community would rally to fund the UNWRA appeal as they seek to support vulnerable refugee communities in the Middle East as they grapple with the pandemic. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayer.Read more
On Epiphany Sunday, we posted a reflection on the lectionary text appointed for the day in lieu of a Christmas newsletter to family and friends, given how busy that season is for us in Bethlehem, as you can well imagine!Read more
Zahiyyah is a refugee living in Aqbet Jaber Refugee Camp near Jericho. The camp was established in 1948 and is the largest refugee camp in the West Bank by surface area, although only 8,600 refugees are currently living there. Prior to the 1967 war, 28,780 refugees lived there. Zahiyyah was 17 years old when she was forced from her village, Al-Masmiyya Al Kabira, with her family on July 8, 1948. She remembers that the Muslims and Jews lived together in the village and that their Jewish neighbors and British soldiers from the nearby camp told them to leave and return in a week or two. Al-Masmiyya Al Kabira was a village in the District of Gaza situated on the southern coastal plane. The village was at the junction of highways going north and south. The population in 1945 was 2,520. It had two mosques and two schools – one for boys and another for girls.Read more
In a joint letter to heads of states that are part of the European Union, the World Council of Churches (WCC) and Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) appealed for a firm and principled stance by the European Union against any annexation by Israel of occupied Palestinian territory in the West Bank.
The letter expresses the WCC and MECC’s commitment “to the vision of a just peace for all people in the Holy Land.”Read more
A Statement by the Patriarchs and Heads of the Holy Land Churches on Israeli Unilateral Annexation Plans
A Statement by the Patriarchs and Heads of the Holy Land Churches
on Israeli Unilateral Annexation Plans
(May 7, 2020)
As a result of the stagnation of the Peace Process in the Middle East between the Israelis and Palestinians, an array of plans for Israel to unilaterally annex West Bank land, backed mainly by right-wing factions, raises serious and catastrophic questions about the feasibility of any peaceful agreement to end the decades’ long conflict, one that continues to cost many innocent lives as part of a vicious cycle of human tragedy and injustice.Read more
Religious leaders stood on the terrace of the King David Hotel in West Jerusalem to offer their prayers in Hebrew, Arabic, and English for relief from the Covid-19 virus on Friday, 24th April. More than 200 people have died from the virus in Israel, while so far at least two people have died in the West Bank and Gaza. However, concerns have been raised over the thousands of Palestinian workers who have recently returned home to the West Bank from Israel. At least a third of the confirmed cases of the virus among the Palestinian population have become infected while working in Israel.
Lord, we bring our prayers to you asking that the authorities in Palestine and Israel may share the will and their resources to limit the spread of this deadly virus. So many Palestinians are already suffering from the loss of employment, a lack of food and medication. We pray that the Israeli government will work with the Palestinian Authority to provide the necessary emergency support. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayer.Read more