15th August 2019
The Great March of Return on Friday, 9th August was much quieter than usual with no current reports of injuries. This is due to the feast of Eid al-Adha which started on Sunday, 11th August and an ongoing decline in the protests through agreements brokered by Egypt. Despite this, a number of Palestinians were killed after allegedly attempting to enter into Israel from Gaza. The occupation Israeli forces claimed that they were armed militants and shelled a number of areas inside Gaza as a response.
- Lord, we continue to pray for the people of Gaza. We pray that they may one day be able to return to their homes and that the ongoing Israeli military blockade will end. Grant those in positions of power around the world the courage to speak truth to power and stand up and act wherever injustice is seen. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
This week Kumi Now focuses on the work of the Defence for Children International Palestine (DCIP). This organisation works to defend children’s rights by offering free legal aid, documenting violations of international law, and advocates for greater protections. The Israeli authorities have failed to end violence against children, despite repeated calls to end night arrests, ill treatment and torture of Palestinian children in military detention.
- We pray that the inhumane treatment of children by the Israeli authorities be exposed and brought to an end. We thank you for the work of the DCIP and for their care of Palestinian children caught up in situations which are difficult for many adults to imagine. Dear Jesus, you knew what it was like to suffer torture when you were arrested. We ask you to reach out to all children who are suffering today. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
On Sunday, 11th August, a number of Muslim worshippers were injured by Israeli occupation forces as they prayed at the Al Aqsa Mosque to celebrate Eid al-Adha. Muslim leaders had called for all other mosques to close in order for as many people as possible to pray at Al Aqsa. Israeli authorities had allowed a number of Jews to enter the compound to pray as they commemorated Tisha B’av, with armed guards, something which is normally forbidden during the Eid celebrations.
- Lord, we pray for peace and order in the city of Jerusalem. We pray that the occupying Israeli authorities would respect the rights of all its residents to worship without obstruction at their holy sites. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
On Wednesday, the 7th of August Riyad al-Maliki, the Foreign Minister of the Palestinian Authority, announced that Nicaragua had decided to open an Embassy in Palestine. In recent years several European and South American countries have recognised Palestine, but these moves have had limited diplomatic effect.
- Lord, we pray that there would be expressions of support from around the world for Palestine and clear message from international lawmakers that the oppression suffered by Palestinians must end. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
After a two-year legal battle, a group of students from Fordham University in New York have won an historic victory. Students for Justice in Palestine Club (SJP), can now be established on campus. The university had vetoed the Student Government’s approval of the SJP in December 2016, but the students sued the university for violating its own rules in April 2017 and have just won their case.
- Dear Lord, we give thanks for the courage and persistence of the students as they fought for their right to free speech to advocate for justice in Palestine. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
Israel has approved plans for more than 2,300 illegal Israeli settlement homes in the Occupied West Bank. This is the latest in a surge of such approvals since the US President Donald Trump took office in 2017. The Israeli Group ‘Peace Now’ has called this policy ‘a disastrous attempt’ to prevent the two-state solution and to annex part, or all of the West Bank.
- Lord, we pray for those Palestinians who are refused permission to build in the West Bank and even see their homes demolished, at a time when illegal settlement homes are being built in their thousands. Lord we cry to you over this injustice and ask that you would ‘raise up the poor from the dust’ (1 Samuel 2:7). Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
The Palestinian Monetary Authority declared that banks operating in Palestine should deduct 50% of the salaries of public sector employees on Monday, the 5th of August. Employees of institutions receiving finance from the Ministry of Finance and Planning were to take the same pay cut. The pay cuts come as a result of the Israeli government’s decision to withhold a substantial amount of the tax money it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, (PA). It withheld revenues to the value of $138 million, which the PA would have paid to support families of Palestinians killed or imprisoned by Israel. The PA declared that it would not accept the remaining $200 million in protest against the Israeli deduction.
- Lord, we pray for all those affected by the loss of income as a result of the discriminatory practices of the Israeli authorities. We pray that decision makers in Israel may recognize the impact of their policies on the lives of all Palestinians and that they will restore the funds they have withheld. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
- We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer