The World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) programme has withdrawn all accompaniers from Hebron on a temporary basis. This is due to increasing violence from settlers and Israeli occupation forces. On the 7th of February, Rabbis for Human Rights walked in solidarity with accompaniers through Hebron and have agreed to hold meetings with the Jewish community with the aim of allowing EAPPI to return.
- We thank God for this program and the support given to it by other organisations in spite of the harassment and violence incurred. We pray that the situation in Hebron will soon allow accompaniers to return and continue their vital work. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayers.
On the 7th February, Israeli occupation forces demolished the Bedouin village of al-Araqib in the Negev desert, southern Israel, for the 140th time. This is the second time in two weeks that the village has been demolished leaving families without shelter during winter rains.
- Lord, we thank you for the courage and stubbornness of the people as they continue to rebuildand refuse to be forced out of their land. We pray that you will help the Israeli decision makers accept that truth and justice always triumph over the power of violence. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.
The “Great March of Return” continues along the border between Gaza and Israel. Two teenage boys; Hassan Shalabi, aged 14 and Hamza Muhammad Ishteiwi, aged 17, were killed by Israeli live fire. Israeli forces continue to use live fire, tear gas, and skunk water against protesters on a weekly basis.
- God of life, we pray for children and young people caught up in terror beyond their understanding or control. We pray for those who have been killed, maimed, bereaved; those who have had their future torn away from them; those whose lives are bleak, lacking opportunity, mobility and hope. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.
This is Week 16 of the Kumi Now Initiative. The focus this week is on taking a well-earned rest from activism. Take this opportunity to rest and renew your energy by enjoying a walk or preparing a healthy meal.
- Lord, we give thanks for all those with a burden for those suffering injustice in Palestine and in other places around the world. We pray for their refreshment and renewed commitment for the work you have prepared for them to do. Lord, in your mercy…
The Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas suspended the new Social Security Law. The Palestinian Authority had begun to implement the law on the 15th of January. However the President listened to the widespread protests over its implementation and agreed to enter into further negotiations over it.
- Thank you, Lord, that a general strike has been averted in Palestine as the new law will be reconsidered. We pray for all those in positions of authority that they would fulfill their roles with honesty and integrity. Lord, in your mercy…
Lina Osama Quteineh, a Palestinian geneticist from occupied East Jerusalem won second prize in Switzerland for the best published research in 2018 on the subject of organ transplant.
- Lord, we thank you for the insights you give to our doctors and researchers into the intricate workings of our bodies. Thank you that their work may be used to help those who are sick. Lord, in your mercy…
UNICEF and UNESCO expressed deep concern over the rise in Israeli interference in Palestinian schools in the occupied territories. These incidents are impacting children’s safe access to education. In 2018 five schools in the West Bank were demolished or seized by the Israeli authorities. Fifty other schools in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem are presently under threat of demolition.
- Dear God, we know that there is a special place in your heart for children. You told your disciples to let ‘the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God’,(Luke18:16). Lord, may we care for the safety of all our children, especially for those subject to violence and abuse as they go to school. Lord, in your mercy…
Mahmoud Omar Jaafreh, a Palestinian from the Jabel al-Mukabbir area of occupied East Jerusalem, was forced to demolish part of his own home on Friday, the 1st of February.
The municipality would have charged him to carry out the demolition, had he not carried out the work himself. The Israeli authorities use the pretext of building without permits to carry out frequent demolitions of Palestinian-owned homes. For Palestinians, building permits are almost impossible to obtain from Israeli authorities.
- Lord, we pray for those who are forced to tear down the walls of their homes. Lord, we pray for an end to the Israeli policies of discrimination. Lord, in your mercy..
The ‘Great March of Return’ continued on Friday, the 1st of February. The Gaza Health Ministry reported that 32 Palestinians were wounded by Israeli occupation live fire along the border between Gaza and Israel.
- Lord, every week we hear of more injuries and deaths in Gaza and the situation there is desperate. We pray for an end to the suffering and the blockade of Gaza. Lord, in your mercy….
Last Saturday, January 26, Israeli settlers killed Hamdi Saadeh Naasan, the father of four children as he was tending his land, and injured 30 others after they raided the al-Mughayyir village, east of Ramallah.
- Lord, we pray for the family of Naaasan as they grieve for their loss, we also pray for the speedy recovery of all who were injured. We pray for justice and the end of oppression. Grant us Lord the gift to see peace and the end of violence in our country. Lord in your mercy…