Sabeel Wave of Prayer
Thursday 20th June 2019
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.
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…
On Monday, the 10th of June, after a 13-year legal battle, the Israeli Supreme court judged that the historic properties near the Jaffa Gate had been legitimately acquired by foreign intermediaries acting for the Ateret Cohanim settler organisation. This decision almost completely removes the essential Christian presence from the Jaffa Gate area.
· Dear Lord, we pray that these attempts to further weaken the Christian presence in the land of the Holy One will be halted, and that all faiths are free to worship in their holy places according to international law. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
On the 10th of June Hassan al-Awewi gave up his hunger strike after 69 days. His health had deteriorated, and the authorities agreed to end his administrative detention.
Hassan is one of nearly five hundred Palestinians out of a total of 5,400 Palestinian prisoners who are currently held under administrative detention, that is imprisonment without charge or trial. Detention orders can be issued for up to six months at a time and renewed indefinitely.
· Lord, we pray that Hassan’s health will improve now he is receiving medical attention. We pray that international lawmakers will speak out and require that the Israeli state puts an end to the policy of imprisoning Palestinians without charge or trial. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
Despite current political instability, the leader of the centre-left Democratic Party in Moldova announced that it will move the country’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. It would be the first European country to do so.
· Lord, we pray for the city of Jerusalem. It is a city sacred to the people of three faiths and a city that should be shared in peace by them all. It saddens us to hear of countries making political statements to claim the city for the people of one faith and to try to exclude all others. We pray for the peace and tranquillity of Jerusalem. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
A ground-breaking Palestinian Oral History Map has been launched online as part of an archive created by the American University of Beirut. The project contains over 1000-hours of oral testimonies from Palestinians who lived through the Nakba, describing everyday life in Palestine before 1948, as well as their experiences of displacement and exile. (http://www.palestinechronicle.com/ground-breaking-palestinian-oral-history-map-launched-video)
· Lord, we thank you for this imaginative project to help Palestinians to reconnect with their history that has almost been erased from the textbooks they read in school. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
· We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Malawi and Zambia. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.