Sabeel Wave of Prayer
30th July 2020
In Week 41 of the Kumi Online Initiative representatives from Women in Black and other organisations plan to speak about how the occupation impacts society in Israel/Palestine on Tuesday, the 28th of July. Women in Black have been holding vigils every Friday in Central Jerusalem and elsewhere in protest against the occupation. There are different groups which also witness against the occupation, including Jerusalem Link and Machsom Watch, among others.
- Lord Jesus, you turned to speak to the weeping women in Jerusalem as you walked to your death, (Luke 23:27). We pray for the women who weep and stand in protest over the injustices of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
A second wave of the coronavirus has hit the occupied West Bank and Israel over the past few weeks. As of the 27th July there are 8,320 active cases, with 78 deaths recorded. In Gaza the numbers have remained more stable with 75 people diagnosed and one person having died. While in Israel there has been an ongoing spike in the number of cases, bringing the numbers of those who have tested positive to 61,956, while 470 people have died. Beyond the cold statistics many people in Palestine were touched by the devotion of a thirty-year-old son from Beit Awwa, who climbed to the third-floor window of the Hebron State Hospital to sit and see his mother who was suffering from the virus and then died on the 16th of July.
- Lord, we are moved when we hear that a grown son so longed to be close to his dying mother that he risked climbing up the outside of a hospital to glimpse her through the window. So many people have been prevented from being present at the bedside of their loved ones or attending their funerals as the virus is so contagious. We pray for comfort for those who have not been able to take their leave of beloved relatives. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.
The Israeli forces demolished a Palestinian drive-through COVID-19 station at the entrance to the West Bank city of Jenin on Tuesday, the 21st of July. The station was located in Area C which is under Israeli control, where the authorities rarely grant Palestinians permits to build.
- Lord, even at this time of crisis from the pandemic the Israeli authorities continue to abuse the most vulnerable communities in the occupied West Bank. We cry out to you when we hear of these merciless acts of violence. Lord, hear the cry of the needy and ‘maintain the cause of the afflicted’ (Psalm140:12). Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
On Wednesday, the 22nd of July, Israeli police arrested leading Palestinian cultural figures in East Jerusalem in a series of raids on their homes and workplaces. Rania Elias, Director of the Yabous Cultural Centre and her husband Suhail Khoury, Director of the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music, were detained at their home, but released later on that day. In a separate raid Daoud al-Ghoul, Director of the Jerusalem Arts Network-Shafaq was arrested at his home. Police seized documents from their offices.
- Dear Lord, we pray for all those who devote their lives to supporting the cultural heritage of Palestinians living in Jerusalem and the Occupied Territories. We pray that they will not be daunted by attempts to strike at the heart of this heritage. We pray that the city of Jerusalem will remain a shared city, enriched by diverse people and cultures. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
On Monday, the 21st of July, Palestinians living in Tuqu’, south of Bethlehem, filmed Israeli forces loading an ancient stone Byzantine baptismal font on a truck and taking it away in the early hours of the morning. This font is only one of three ancient fonts which have been found on Palestinian land. This is the latest act in an ongoing campaign of historical appropriation by the Israeli occupying authorities.
- Lord, yet again we hear reports of the violation of international law with the transfer of ancient artefacts out of occupied territory by an occupying power. We pray for an end to the occupation and for attempts to dispossess Palestinians. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
On the morning of Monday 27th July, illegal Israeli settlers sprayed graffiti on the walls of and set fire to, and sprayed graffiti on the walls of a mosque in al-Bireh, Ramallah.
- Dear Lord, we pray for calm and mutual respect for worshippers of different faiths in Palestine and Israel. We pray that the Israeli authorities respect the right of all faiths to worship safely in their own buildings without threat of injury or desecration of these holy places. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
- We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of the Republic of Congo, Gabon, São Tomé and Príncipe. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.