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Last Friday, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued a ruling charging Israel to immediately halt its military operations in Rafah, following South Africa’s ongoing case against Israel for the crimes of genocide. The Israeli war cabinet minister, Benny Gantz, brushed aside the ICJ’s order and the Israeli military have continued the ruthless bombardment of Rafah. News coming out of Rafah reports that at least 40 Palestinians have been killed in designated “safe zones”, many of whom were burned alive.   

 ● Everlasting God, we remember that no matter what ruling international law orders, we must continue the good fight. Lord, we cry to you to save the people of Gaza like the Psalmist declares, “Deliver me, O Lord, from evildoers; protect me from those who are violent, who plan evil things in their minds and stir up wars continually” (Psalm 140:1-2). Lord, we cry out to you, to put an end to this cruel genocide.  

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer 

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Last week, the Israeli military raided Jenin refugee camp, resulting in the deaths of 12 people, including a teacher, a doctor, and four children. Moreover, Israeli bulldozers have demolished homes and the infrastructure of the camp. 

God of love, you alone know the extent of suffering the people of Jenin refugee camp have experienced. Lord, let us not be afraid to defend the oppressed because of the power of the strong. Help us be your vessels from which your love flows since, “we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand” (Isaiah 64:8). 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer 

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On the 19th of May, the Good Shepherd Anglican Church in Nablus was raided by Israeli soldiers at 4am. The security cameras of the Church captured soldiers vandalising Church property, the parish hall, and more. In response, the Church called the invasion “an evil and cowardly act” and quoted Matthew 16:18 “18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it”.

Christ the good shepherd, although we fail to follow you, you protect us. Lord, remind us that faith belongs to you and faith, rightly understood and well lived, both personally and communally, leads us to liberation. Lord, we pray that the Anglican Church in Nablus be protected and that you are with them in their afflictions.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer 

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Throughout the month of May, Sabeel has been hosting various delegations. The first delegation was a group of storytellers who consisted of award-winning singers, songwriters, and bestselling authors. The second delegation is from The Israel Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) who are here to “Come and see and go and tell”. 

Divine creator, we are your pilgrims and are always journeying to seek you. We pray that all those who have witnessed the beauty and suffering of our land will spread our voices and work for our empowerment. Lord, help the oppressed illuminate the “Sabeel” (Arabic for “the way”) towards a more just and liberated reality. 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer 

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On June 6th, Friends of Sabeel France with 3 other French Christian movements are holding a webinar titled “Christians in Palestine & Christians in France: Which solidarity today and tomorrow?” This webinar will include Rev. Dr. Munther Isaac, the “Patriarch of the people” Michel Sabbah, and Omar Haramy, in addition to various pastors and priests from France.  

God of justice, we thank you for the work of our friends and pray that all the speakers will be guided by the Holy Spirit. Lord, may this webinar inspire the Church to confess and repent for its complicity of Palestinian oppression and inspire prophetic action and imagination. 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer  

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On the 20th of May, the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Karim Khan, issued a statement seeking arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, and Hamas leaders, Ismail Haniyeh, Yahya Sinwar, and Mohammed Deif. All bear criminal responsibilities for several war crimes and crimes against humanity. 

God the royal judge, whilst we pray for truth and justice to be exposed and enacted within the bodies of international law, we remember that true change requires moral and spiritual transformation, which is demanded by the law of love. Lord, whether in the ICJ, ICC, or on the streets, help us, “Speak out for those who cannot speak, for the rights of all the destitute. Speak out, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy” (Proverbs 31:8-9).

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer 

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On the 19th of May, Christians following the Gregorian Calander marked Pentecost day. Pentecost is a feast day commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit on the followers of Christ and the birthday of the early Church. For us Palestinian Christians, we trace our heritage back to the day of Pentecost and attempt to continue what the early Church started. This year, Palestinian Christians from the West Bank were denied entering Jerusalem to celebrate Pentecost.

Holy Spirit, remind us that we ought not to look up to the sky and remain disciples, but focus on fulfilling your will on earth so that we may be apostles. Lord, as many of us in these times come to you like the psalmist asking why you are “so far from my cries of anguish?” (Psalm 22:1), remind us to be one body participating in the movement of the Holy Spirit, working for liberation, justice, and peace in Palestine-Israel. Come, O Holy Spirit. 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

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This week, the 7th “Christ at the Checkpoint” Conference, organized by Bethlehem Bible College, will be held. This year, the title of the conference is “Do Justice, Love Mercy: Christian Witness in Contexts of Oppression.” The aim of Christ at the Checkpoint is to provide an opportunity for Evangelical Christians to prayerfully seek a proper awareness of issues of peace, justice, and reconciliation in Palestine.

Incarnated Christ who is at the Checkpoint and not in the halls of the empire, we thank you for the witness of our friends and pray that the Holy Spirit be among those attending. Lord, as many are gathering to worship your name at the conference, help us do justice and love mercy in this beautiful but oppressed land.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer    

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UNRWA is set to close its East Jerusalem headquarters temporarily, after attacks by Israelis accompanied with armed men. UNRWA Commissioner-General, Philippe Lazzarini, said the latest arson attack was one of a series of threats, harassment and violent incidents perpetrated by Israelis against the agency’s staff over the past two months. The attacks on UNRWA and the lack of accountability reflects the systematic approach to halt and delegitimize attempts to relieve Palestinians from their suffering. 

Almighty creator, we are witnessing the capabilities of evil and are aware of their dangers. Lord, ensure that UNRWA can continue working and aiding Palestinians who are continuously suffering from systematic sin. We plead that you remind us that you are love and whoever lives in love lives in you, and you in us. We pray for those living in hate to repent and join the work of love by struggling for Palestinian liberation. 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

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On the 29th of May, Sabeel will be holding a pre-conference webinar for a further discussion on Antisemitism with Hadar Cohen, Rabbi Faryn Borella, Father David Neuhause, and our director, Omar Haramy. This webinar discussion will cover the history of Antisemitism, the experience of antisemitism by Jews who are vocal about advocating for Palestine, and strategies for combating antisemitism within our movements.

God of inclusivity, we thank you for all the voices who are showing that Jewish security and Palestinian liberation is of the same struggle. Lord, help us understand that the fight against Zionism is also a struggle against antisemitism. Let us remember, that we must struggle against supremacy in all its forms everywhere and stop the weaponization of Jewish suffering to justify Palestinian oppression.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer