Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

12th of December, 2019

Sixty-Four Palestinian civilians, including 19 children, a paramedic, and 4 women; one of them was a paramedic, were shot and injured by Israeli occupation forces’ (IOF) fire against peaceful protestors at the 83rd Great March of Return (GMR), this Friday, 06 December 2019.

  • Lord, we continue to pray for the people of Gaza as they raise their voices in protest. May your will be done so that all the people of this land may come to enjoy the fruits of a just peace. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.

This week’s Kumi Now Initiative looks at the work of Al-Marsad, the Arab Human Rights’ Centre in the Golan Heights. Al-Marsad seeks to protect the human rights of 20,000 Syrians, mostly Druze Arabs, living in the Golan Heights. Decades of US policy was overturned in March 2019 when President Trump recognised Israeli sovereignty over the area. There are now more than thirty Israeli settlements in the area, which are considered illegal under international law.

  • Dear Lord, we pray for Al-Marsad and for all those who work to defend the human rights of those who have no voice of their own. We pray that the Israeli government will stop using the anti-boycott law as a repressive measure to silence any group that attempts to uncover human rights abuses. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Sabeel Jerusalem is thankful for all the hard work and goodwill of the participants (from seventeen countries) in the first Sabeel International Gathering, (2nd-7th December). We wish to express our thanks to the interfaith Al Liqa Centre, to Kairos Palestine, to Musalaha, to the Bethlehem Bible College, to Passia, to Dar Al Kalima University College in Bethlehem, and to all the friends and workers from Sabeel Jerusalem.

  • Dear Lord, we are thankful for the care and effort of so many people as they focused on the International Gathering to help bring about a just and nonviolent change to the lives of Palestinians living under occupation. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Sabeel holds its annual Ecumenical Christmas Dinner on Saturday, 14th December in Jerusalem.

  • We pray for the Sabeel Ecumenical Christmas dinner on Saturday. Local clergy from different denominations, international workers, and community members from all walks of life will gather for fellowship, food, and music. We pray that God will be glorified by our celebration. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Thousands gathered to attend the lighting of the giant Christmas tree outside the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem on Saturday, the 1st of December. A firework display and festivities accompanied the annual ceremony in Manger Square.

  • Dear Lord Jesus, Immanuel, our hearts are full of joy and thankfulness in this Advent season as we celebrate your humble birth in a stable in Bethlehem. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Four journalists from the Palestinian Authorities’ official television station in Jerusalem were detained by the Israeli police on Friday, the 6th of December. The television crew were filming for the daily ‘Good Morning Jerusalem’ show outside Jerusalem’s Old City. They were detained for four hours and then released. Israeli police claimed the show breached Israel’s sovereignty over the city.

  • Lord we pray for journalists in the Holy Land trying to stand for freedom of expression at their own personal risk. We pray for the repeal of repressive laws in Israel. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Wednesday, the 4th of December an exhibition of the work of an internationally acclaimed Palestinian cartoonist, Mohammed Saba’aneh was removed without authorisation from the World Forum in Ramallah. Saba’aneh’s work expresses in stark black and white drawings the abuses his countrymen suffer under the Israeli occupation.

  • Dear Lord, we thank you for the gift of artistic expression and the ability of artists to give insights and portray deep emotion through their work. We pray that the voice of the artist will not be stifled in the Holy Land. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Wave of Prayer

The Kumi Now Initiative

The Kumi Now Initiative was launched by Sabeel Jerusalem in 2018. Sabeel invited local and international individuals and organisations to join the initiative to strive for a lasting peace in Palestine/Israel. Forty two organisations were invited by Sabeel to join, based on their commitment to nonviolence, equal rights and respect for international law.

The initiative highlights a different organisation each week and explores its work to raise awareness about a particular aspect of injustice in Palestine/Israel. The initiative also gives information through stories of those affected and promotes a creative, nonviolent advocacy action. At the first Sabeel International Gathering to be held between the 2nd and the 7th of December in Bethlehem, discussions about the progress of the first year of this Initiative will take place, as well as plans for a new Kumi Now Global Initiative.

  • Dear Lord Jesus, when we are despairing you encourage us and tell us, ‘Do not fear, only believe.’(Mark 5:36). We thank you for the nonviolent advocacy actions of the Kumi Now Initiative which help us to channel into action our sense of  despair over the occupation of Palestine. We pray for worldwide support for the Kumi Now Initiative. We pray that it would help international decision makers to work towards a just and equitable peace in the Holy Land. Lord, in your mercy..

This week’s Kumi Now Initiative

This week’s Kumi Now Initiative focuses on the work of the Christian Peacemaker Team,(CPT), Palestine. The CPT Palestine is based in the West Bank city of Hebron. Palestinian residents in Hebron, particularly those living in the H2 area in the Old City of Hebron, are subjected to violence from Israeli settlers and soldiers. Their daily journeys to work or school are restricted by military checkpoints, ID and bag checks, detainments and arrests.

The CPT Palestine is a presence on the ground to witness and record human rights’ violations. They monitor checkpoints and support families when their children are detained or arrested. By invitation, the team also assists Palestinian families with the olive harvest when they are at risk from settler assaults and military activity. Each incident the team witnesses is documented and compiled into quarterly reports which are shared with the home community as well as the international community.

  • Lord, we pray for the CPT Palestine team which is made up of volunteers from all over the world. We pray for their protection as they live in the city of Hebron and monitor the violence and human rights’ abuses against the Palestinian people living under occupation there. We pray that those in positions of power and influence in the world will pay attention to their detailed reports of abuse and act to bring an end to the Israeli military occupation. Lord, in your mercy…

Lord, we the participants of the Sabeel gathering cry out to you that this year

Will be the time for Palestine.

Will be the time of justice for the Palestinians.

Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Lord, we the participants of the Sabeel gathering cry out to you that this year

Will be the time to respect human lives in the land called holy.

Will be the time for healing to begin in wounded souls.

Will be the time to end more than 100 years of conflictoppression, and fear.

Will be the time for freedom from occupation.

Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Lord, we the participants of the Sabeel gathering cry out to you that this year

Will be the time for equal rights.

Will be the time to end discrimination, segregation and restriction on movement.

Will be the time for those who build walls and fences to put them up on their own property.

Will be the time to stop bulldozing homes and building h, omes for others on land that is not theirs.

Will be the to do away with double standards.

Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Lord, we the participants of the Sabeel gathering cry out to you that this year

Will be the time for the international community to implement more than 70 years of United Nations resolutions.

Will be the time for people who have been refugees for more than 70 years to gain their right of return.

Will be the time for self-determination for the Palestinian people.

Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Lord, we the participants of the Sabeel gathering cry out to you that this year

Will be a time for pilgrims to visit Bethlehem and other Palestinian towns imprisoned by the wall.

Will be the time to expose settlements in their comfort and refugee camps in their despair.

Will be the time for people living under occupation for more than 50 years to feel supported through solidarity from people around the world.

Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Lord, we the participants of the Sabeel gathering cry out to you that this year

Will be the time to name the shame of collective punishment and to end it in all its forms.

Will be the time to voice rejection of violence against civilians and for civilians to be safe.

Will be the time for Israel to release Palestinian prisoners.

Will be the time to reunite the people of Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem.

Will be the time for all parties to obey international humanitarian and human rights law.

Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Lord, we the participants of the Sabeel gathering cry out to you that this year

Will be the time to share Jerusalem, with East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.

Will be the time for Muslim, Jewish, and Christian communities to be free to visit their holy sites.

Will be the time for olive trees in this land to flourish and grow old.

Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Lord, we the participants of the Sabeel gathering cry out to you that this year

Will be a time to speak truth to power.

Will be a time to break the silence surrounding injustice.

Will be the year for peace, the year for Palestine.

Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

28th November 2019

The Great March of Return was suspended again this week over fears that the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) would use extreme force against protestors. The UN agency responsible for humanitarian affairs (OCHA) noted in their recent report that half of vulnerable families living in rented accommodation in northern Gaza face eviction threats and legal action due to inability to pay rent due to the high percentage of unemployment caused by the blockade.

  • Lord, we hold the people of Gaza in our prayers. May your spirit bring justice to the people on the margins who suffer at the hands of the powerful decision makers. Guide us Lord to continue to work to end the injustice and hold Israel responsible for the people they hold under siege. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

In this week’s Kumi Now initiative we look at the work of the Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling, (WCLAC). This is a non-profit Palestinian organisation which seeks to achieve gender equality and to help defend the rights of women, particularly those who suffer violence. The main tool of violence towards Palestinian women is the night raids carried out by the Israeli army. WCLAC estimates that the Israeli army carries out 1,360 night raids every year. The raids often result in arrests, including the arrests of children. The number of night raids has directly increased with the escalation of illegal settlement construction in the Occupied Territories. WCLAC have submitted evidence to the UN detailing the severe trauma symptoms suffered by women and children affected by the raids.

  • Lord, we thank you for the work of WCLAC and for their care in collecting evidence from the families who have been traumatised by the raids. We pray for an end to the terrifying night raids carried out by the Israeli army on Palestinian families. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Thursday, the 21st of November, the United Church of Christ issued a statement following  the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo’s announcement that Israeli settlements built in the West Bank are no longer seen by the current US administration as ‘inconsistent with international law’. The UCC are clear that this announcement is in  contravention to previous administrations and disregards the UN resolution 2334 (December 2016). The UCC has raised its voice in strong opposition to the recent US policy shifts in favour of the Israeli government. They state their opposition to the occupation and their commitment to ‘a just and lasting peace in Israel/ Palestine based on international law and human rights’.

  • Lord, we thank you for the clear statement of support from the UCC to seek peace in the Holy Land on the basis of justice and righteousness. We pray that churches around the world would continue to speak out and hold the Israeli government to account for the way it continues to build illegal settlements on Palestinian land. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Kairos Palestine is holding its Tenth Anniversary International Conference in Bethlehem on Friday, the 29th of November. The conference will be looking at political and theological changes, in Palestine and worldwide, over the past ten years. It will also be hearing from a panel of young Palestinians about their hopes for the future.

  • Lord, we pray that those who attend the Kairos Conference will find a place of blessing and encouragement there. We pray that you will renew the strength of our Palestinian brothers and sisters and that ‘they shall run and not grow weary’ (Isaiah 40:3). Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Monday, the 18th of November George Ghazala, a Palestinian scout leader and basketball referee was abducted in a dawn raid by Israeli soldiers from his home in Ramallah. He has been taken to an unknown destination. The Palestinian Basketball Federation has condemned the abduction of one of its referees. They are also calling on international organisations to intervene and bring an end to the harassment being directed at Palestinian sportsmen and women.

  • Lord, we bring George before you now and pray for your guidance and protection for him. This young man has taken part in activities organised by Sabeel and gives of his time to organise activities for others. We pray that this active and caring young man may know your strength and peace in whatever circumstances he now finds himself. We pray for his safety and for his release. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The Dutch government stopped their annual payment to the Ministry of Justice of the Palestinian Authority, on Wednesday, the 20th of November. Their decision came after pressure had been brought to bear by pro-Israeli groups who accuse the PA of supporting terrorists. The PA give financial help to Palestinian families where the wage earners have been killed, injured, or imprisoned by Israel. There are currently five thousand Palestinians in Israeli prisons, most of them detained for activities against the occupation.

  • Lord, you see poverty and the need of the families in Palestine with family members in prison. We pray that you would prompt others to provide for those who are destitute. We pray for an end to the occupation and for the inhumane treatment of the Palestinian people by the Israeli government. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Mu’ath Amarneh is a Palestinian photojournalist and he was working in Surif near Hebron  when he was shot in his left eye by Israeli border police, even though he was wearing a flak jacket with ‘Press’ clearly marked on it. The incident took place on Friday, the15th of November, when Israelis opened fire on a group of unarmed Palestinians who were protesting the confiscation of their land by settlers from the nearby Bat Ayin settlement. Other journalists have voiced their outrage at this deliberate shooting and demonstrations have taken place in Bethlehem, Ramallah, Nablus, and Gaza.

  • Lord, we pray for Mu’ath’s recovery and for the second operation he has to undergo to retrieve metal from his eye. We pray that he may be able to continue his work despite being blinded in one eye and that the incident would be fully investigated by the Israeli border police. We thank you for the courage of Palestinian photojournalists who are prepared to risk their own lives to document injustices which occur daily under the occupation.  Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

21st November 2019

The Great March of Return was suspended this past Friday due to the two days of bombing from Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) throughout the Gaza strip in response to rocket fire from Islamic Jihad. Up until the declaring of an Egypt and UN negotiated ceasefire, IOF killed 33 Palestinians; 14 of them were civilians, including 3 women and 8 children. Furthermore, 46 Palestinian civilians, including 16 children and 6 women, were injured. Included in these numbers is the tragedy of the killing of 8 members of one family in the Dir al-Balah area of Gaza. The family home was bombed on the basis of ‘out-of-date intelligence’ according to the IOF.

  • God of peace, our prayers for a real and lasting cease-fire and the protection of the civilians are unending.  From lack of water, electricity, and medical supplies to the onset of diseases, the humanitarian disaster in Gaza has no immediate end.  Lord, comfort your people in Gaza; be with them in the shelters, in their broken neighbourhoods, in the overcrowded hospitals, and in the lines as they wait for water.  Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The Kumi Now initiative focuses on the work of Wi’am, the Palestinian Conflict Transformation Centre based in Bethlehem. Wi’am helps to resolve disputes in the Palestinian community. It has also set up programmes to help the local community deal with the long-term effects of the Israeli military occupation. There are nearly twenty thousand Palestinian residents living in cramped conditions in the nearby Aida and Dheisheh refugee camps. They experience high levels of stress due to frequent military incursions and arrests in the camps.

  • Dear Lord, we thank you for the work of Wi’am and particularly for their outreach work with children living in the overcrowded refugee camps. We pray that their work in the shadow of the separation wall will bring light and hope to those who live in a dark and dangerous area. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The Sabeel Annual Christmas Dinner will take place on the 14th of December in East Jerusalem. Clergy and community members from all Christian denominations are invited to celebrate together and to renew their bonds of friendship and mutual support.

  • Lord, we give thanks for this joyful event and rejoice that our Palestinian brothers and sisters will be drawn together in this celebration as ‘one body in Christ’. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Ayman Odeh, an Israeli Arab lawyer and politician has been listed in the ‘Leaders’ group in Time magazine’s ‘100 Next’ listing of rising stars who are shaping the future in various fields. Odeh is the leader of the Hadash party, a member of the Knesset, and the head of the Joint List alliance. He urges Jewish-Arabic co-operation as a way forward in the political arena.

  • Lord, we pray for all those who work for peace, equality and righteousness in the Holy Land in a spirit of co-operation and understanding. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Sabeel is hosting its first International Gathering from the 2nd to the 7th of December. Those attending the Gathering will meet in a variety of settings in Bethlehem to gain a deeper understanding of the political situation in the Holy Land. They will also have the opportunity to worship and enjoy fellowship with the Christian community, as well as meeting Jews and Muslims.

  • Lord, we pray for all the careful planning and organisation that is going on to make the Gathering relevant and interesting. We pray that you would enable those you want to attend to learn and to be ready to share what they have learnt when they return home. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of  East Timor (Timor Leste), Indonesia, and the Philippines. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

14th November 2019

104 Palestinian civilians, including 43 children, a woman and a paramedic, were shot and injured by Israeli occupation forces’ (IOF) fire against peaceful protestors at the 82nd Great March of Return (GMR), this Friday, 08 November 2019. Israeli occupation forces continued the use of excessive force against peaceful protestors, as 41 civilians sustained live-bullet-injuries – including 2 children in critical condition- in addition to other injuries by rubber bullets and tear gas canisters mainly in protesters’ upper bodies.

We consider the work of the Mennonite Palestine Israel Network (MennoPIN), in this week’s Kumi Now Initiative. MennoPIN works to raise awareness about home demolitions in the occupied Palestinian territories. The Israeli government issues less than 2% of Palestinian applications for building permits. It then demands the demolition of homes built without permits. It also uses the threat of demolition as collective punishment for any opposition to the Israeli government. Such harassment is ruled illegal by international law.

Israel’s highest court upheld the government’s decision to deport the local director of Human Rights Watch on Tuesday, the 5th of November. Omar Shakir, a US citizen, has been given twenty days before he must return to the US, on the grounds of his alleged support for the boycott movement. Under the 2017 law the Israeli government can block the entry or the visa renewal of anyone who supports a boycott of the Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

The Israeli authorities released two Jordanian citizens who had been detained under administrative detention for two months. Hiba al-Labadi and Abdul Rahman Miri crossed King Hussein’s Bridge to return to Jordan on Wednesday, the 6th of November. These arrests have further strained relations between Israel and Jordan, 25years after their peace treaty.

  • Rahman after the intervention of the Jordanian authorities. We remember that so many Palestinians are held in Israeli prisons for years under administrative detention, with no recourse to justice. We pray that this form of detention in Israel will cease. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer

On Friday, the 15th of November Sabeel will be hosting a women’s activity day. Palestinian women will be coming together to cook traditional recipes eaten at Christian festivals.

Sabeel Nazareth is planning to honour the work of Violet Khoury as she retires from their local office. Many foreign visitors on the Sabeel tour will remember Violet’s powerful testimony of her youth growing up in Nazareth as a Palestinian Christian, viewed as a second-class citizen in post 1948 Israel. She managed to complete her studies in pharmacology, first in Jerusalem and then in Rome and to succeed in setting up her own pharmacy against all the odds. She will be honoured as a strong and steadfast woman who worked hard to support her family, as well as supporting the work of Sabeel for many years. She will be joining the Sabeel General Assembly.

November 15 marks Palestinian Independence Day. Unfortunately, in the 31 years since the state was declared in 1988, independence is still not a reality.

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

7th of November 2019

At least 96 Palestinians were injured on Friday as Israeli forces attacked dozens of peaceful protesters taking part in the 81st Friday of the Great March of Return at the border between Gaza and Israel. Airstrikes also rocked areas of Gaza over the weekend as the Israeli Air-force responded with extreme force to rocket fire from within Gaza.

  • Lord, we continue to pray for the people of Gaza as they raise their voices in legitimate protest and suffer under the constant fear of aerial bombardment. May your will be done so that all the people of this land may come to enjoy the fruits of a just peace. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.

This week’s Kumi Now initiative focuses on the work of the Palestinian grassroots organization ‘Stop the Wall’. As Israel has been constructing its 700km wall it has annexed more and more Palestinian land. Over 85% of the segregation wall has been built on land belonging to Palestinians and this organization seeks to dismantle it. The International Court of Justice declared the construction of the wall illegal in 2004.

  • Dear Lord Jesus, our Prince of Peace, you will one day raise a banner for all the nations and gather people from the four corners of the earth to you (Is11:12). Lord, we pray for an end to the segregation caused by the wall, longing for it to be dismantled and the confiscated lands returned to their rightful owners. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem has an advanced centre for cancer treatment where patients; children, and adults, can receive the vital care they need. The administration of the hospital is facing a serious financial crisis after Israel and the US imposed severe financial cuts. The Palestinian people have been raising funds for the hospital, however, more funding is desperately needed.

  • Lord, we pray for those receiving treatment, and the staff, at the Augusta Victoria Hospital. Lord these Palestinian patients have nowhere else to go to receive the treatment they need. We pray that funds will be forthcoming to provide the necessary treatment and medication. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Last August two US Democrat Congresswomen, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar planned to visit the Palestinian Territories. Their visit was banned by Israel on the grounds that they had voiced their support for the boycott of Israel over their treatment of Palestinians. A new virtual reality application has now been made available so that everybody can visit the sites which would have been on their itinerary, including East Jerusalem, Hebron, and Bethlehem,( https://apps.apple.com/us/app/palestine-vr/id1483465433 ) and https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.Smart2it.VR.Smart2VR.PalestineVR&hl=en_US)

  • Lord, many people have visited Palestine and seen for themselves the impact of the oppressive policies of the Israeli government. We pray that more people will use the free virtual reality tours to witness the injustice suffered by Palestinians as a result of these policies. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

A number of Norwegian lawyers and professors of law published the ‘Defend International Law’ paper on the 31st of October. This paper challenges their government’s position on Israel and its persistent violations of international law. They call for the introduction of sanctions against Israel for their serious human rights’ abuses perpetrated against Palestinians.

  • Lord, again and again we have cried out to lawmakers to help restore respect for international law and human rights in the Holy Land. We pray that lawmakers around the word will take up the Norwegian call for justice to be restored in Palestine/ Israel. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

It is just one month until Sabeel will host its first International Gathering from the 2nd to the 7th of December at various venues in Bethlehem, Palestine. The gathering will bring together different organizations working for a just peace in Palestine and Israel, including

Kairos Palestine, Bethlehem Bible College, al-Liqa and Dar al-Kalima. The gathering will also explore the Kumi Now initiative and ways in which the worldwide community can engage in non-violent action to achieve a just peace in Palestine/Israel.

  • Lord, we pray that you would help to bring those people to the Sabeel International Gathering who you want to use to bring about a just peace in the Holy Land. We ask, Lord, that you will bless those who come, so they have the eyes to see and the ears to hear the message you wish them to draw from the gathering. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Oceania: American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia (Maohi Nui), Kanaky, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

31st October 2019

In Gaza on Friday 25th October, 95 Palestinian civilians, including 43 children, a woman, 2 paramedics and a journalist, were shot and injured by Israeli forces, who fired live rounds against peaceful Palestinian protesters at the 80th Great March of Return. According to Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) documentation, the number of victims increased to 214 since the outbreak of the protests on 30 March 2018, including 46 children, 2 women, 9 persons with disabilities, 4 paramedics and 2 journalists. Additionally, 14,453 were wounded, including 3,592 children, 383 women, 250 paramedics and 216 journalists, noting that many of those injured had sustained multiple injuries on separate occasions.

  • Lord, we continue to pray for the safety of the protestors and for them to continue to espouse non-violent means to achieve their demands. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

This week’s Kumi Now initiative focuses on the work of the Jahalin Solidarity organisation. This group protects the rights of the Bedouin and other Palestinians living under the occupation. It continues to support the Bedouin village of Al Khan al-Ahmar where the residents live under constant threat of forced eviction by the Israeli military authorities driven by illegal settler organisations.

  • Dear Lord, we thank you for those who care for the human rights of the poor and the persecuted. We are thankful for those working with the Jahalin organisation who listen to the cry of the poor and respond with aid and support. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On the 23rd of October, the Israeli authorities issued 140 demolition orders to the homes and a mosque belonging to residents of Rahat in the Negev. The houses are all owned by two Bedouin families and their residents have been living there for more than seventy years.

  • Lord, we pray that the persecution of the Bedouin by the Israeli authorities will cease. We pray that a new Israeli government will respect the human rights of all the people living in Palestine/Israel, including the Bedouin. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The home of Abu Hamid was demolished for the second time in two years by Israeli soldiers in the first week of October. Abu Hamid was sentenced to life imprisonment for critically injuring an Israeli soldier in an army raid in the Al-Am’ari refugee camp near Ramallah. Ronan Lubarsky, an Israeli soldier, died of his wounds two days after the raid.

  • Lord, we are aggrieved by the treatment of those living in Palestinian refugee camps by Israeli occupation forces. While violence cannot be condoned, the sentences passed down by the military court system are harsh in the extreme. We pray that international lawmakers will speak out against this form of collective punishment being meted out by the Israeli military courts. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Last week a court in Ramallah ordered the blocking of 59 Palestinian websites, blogs and Facebook pages in which opposition to the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas had been expressed. The prosecution argued that such material could be used to incite lawlessness. The Press Association and human rights groups have appealed the decision.

  • Lord, we pray that all Palestinians will continue to safeguard freedom of expression among their people and that they will resist moves to censure justified criticism. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Friday, the 25th of October, residents in the Palestinian village of Yatma, south of Nablus, woke up to find they had been targeted by vandals from the nearby Israeli settlement outpost of Yitzhar. This was the second attack in three days. Thirty cars had windows broken and tyres slashed, with Hebrew slogans spray painted on the vehicles.

  • Lord, we pray for an end to the hate crimes carried out by illegal Israeli settlers against the Palestinians. We pray that the Israeli authorities will follow up this vandalism and hold to account those who breach the peace in the area. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The Episcopal Church in the US adopted and implemented an investment screen on the 22nd of October. This will ensure that they do not invest in companies who profit from the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories.

  • Lord, we thank you for the tools to review the investments of the church and that more and more churches are beginning to use them. We pray that your church across the world will continue to pray and take morally responsible decisions on stewarding the resources they are given. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Canada and the United States of America. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

24th October 2019

Ninety-seven Palestinian civilians, including 45 children and 2 women, were injured due to Israeli soldiers’ excessive use of force against peaceful protestors at the 79th Great March of Return, this Friday, 18 October 2019. A young man sustained serious injuries and 35 others were shot with live bullets and shrapnel in addition to other injuries in the upper body due to direct targeting with rubber bullets and tear gas canisters.

  • Lord, we pray for all those who were injured during the demonstration in Gaza. We continue to pray for an end to the blockade of Gaza and for the right of return to their homes for the Palestinian refugees. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The Kumi Now year finished on October 19th. As work continues on a revision of Kumi Now, the previous Kumi year will began again with a re-launch on Monday, 21st October.

  • Lord, we thank you for those who have made the commitment to stand for justice, inclusivity, and nonviolence through the Kumi Now initiative. We pray that their commitment will continue as we begin the year again and look forward to the new revised Kumi Now. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

A number of Palestinians and volunteers have been injured in attacks by illegal Israeli settlers throughout the West Bank whilst harvesting olives.  An elderly rabbi from ‘Rabbis for Human Rights’ suffered blows to the head and had his arm broken, while others were also hurt.

  • Lord, we pray for the protection of Palestinian farmers as they harvest their olives. Thank you for the support of Jewish activists and foreigners who know how vital the olive harvest is to the income of many Palestinians. We pray that settlers would respect the rights of others and stop their damage of Palestinian crops. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Ein Hanya is the site of a natural spring within the municipal borders of Jerusalem and near the West Bank village of Al-Walaja. At the beginning of Sukkot, the site was opened by the Israeli Parks Authority as a site for visitors, however, Palestinians are now unjustly banned from visiting the site although lies within the West Bank.

  • Dear Lord, we see another source of water in the West Bank, sealed off to Palestinians and opened to Israelis. We pray that the Israeli government would be held to account for the regime of segregation it operates in the Holy Land. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Throughout the Jewish holidays Israeli illegal settler groups have entered and prayed, on a number of occasions, in the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City, the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, and the Tomb of Joseph near Nablus. The settlers receive armed support from the Israeli occupation forces who turn the areas into closed military zones for the duration of the visits.

  • Lord, we pray that people of all faiths should be free to worship in the places holy to them without fear or obstruction. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Saudi Arabia’s national football team came to play against the team of Palestine at the Palestinian stadium in Al-Ram in the West Bank. The teams fought hard in this qualifying match for the 2022 World Cup, but no goals were scored. Formerly, Saudi Arabia refused to send teams to play as they had extended their boycott of Israel to cover the occupied territories.

  • We thank you, Lord for the joy and enthusiasm shown by the Palestinian football fans as they watched their team compete at an international level. We pray there will be more opportunities for Palestinian sportsmen and women to meet athletes from other countries. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Sabeel is preparing to host its first International Gathering from the 2nd to the 7th of December 2019, at various venues in Bethlehem, Palestine. The gathering will bring together different organisations working for a just peace in Palestine and Israel, including Kairos Palestine, Bethlehem Bible College, al-Liqa, and Dar al-Kalima. The gathering will also explore the Kumi Now initiative and ways in which the worldwide community can engage in non-violent action to achieve a just peace in Palestine/Israel.

  • Lord Jesus, we pray that you would draw those people to attend the Sabeel International Gathering whom you want to use to help bring about just peace in the Holy Land. We ask, Lord, that you would give ‘a spirit of wisdom’ to those who are preparing to speak at the gathering and that the hearts of those who attend will be open to receive their message. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of: The Caribbean: Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Cuba, Curaçao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Sint Maarten, St Kitts-Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

17th October 2019

Seventy-one Palestinian civilians, including 28 children, were injured due to Israeli soldiers’ excessive use of force against peaceful protestors at the 78th Great March of Return, on Friday, 11 October 2019. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights’ (PCHR) fieldworkers documented 33 injuries with live-bullet wounds; 3 civilians, including 2 children, with critical wounds; and others with wounds in the upper body due to direct targeting with rubber bullets and tear gas canisters.

  • Lord, we come before you ready to lay our anxieties and fears at your feet and ask that you would guard our hearts with your peace which surpasses all understanding. We pray for the peaceful protestors in Gaza and that others would be led to express their grievances using non-violent means. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

This week’s Kumi Now initiative looks at the work of Zaytoun (Arabic for Olives) and the support this non-profit organisation gives to Palestinian farmers to market their olive oil internationally. Since 2004, Zaytoun has worked with Canaan Fair Trade in Palestine to pioneer the world’s first Fairtrade certified olive oil. They also run a project to distribute and plant olive saplings to farmers who have had their trees uprooted or damaged by Israeli settlers.

  • Lord, we give thanks for your steadfast love and we remember the words of the psalmist who pictured himself as ‘a green olive tree in the house of God’ (Ps 52:8). Thank you, Lord, for the work of Zaytoun and for the support they give Palestinian farmers as they struggle to cultivate their olive groves in the shadow of the occupation. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

In the last week of September, Radi Attiani, a Palestinian farmer in the northern West Bank town of Yasuf, reported that the crop of olives had been stolen from 42 of the trees on his land, just before the annual harvest. He suspected the settlers who live adjacent to his land as they had chopped down 52 of his family’s trees two months previously.

  • Lord, we pray that the illegal Israeli settlers would stop uprooting and damaging the crops of the Palestinian farmers. Lord, you command us not to steal or covet the property of others. We pray for protection and support for the farmers, particularly at this time of the olive harvest. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

The presence of some of the oldest Christian communities in the Middle East is under threat from relentless persecution. In Palestine some Christians are worn down by the occupation and many move abroad. Palestinian Christians make up 1-2.5% of the population in the West Bank and less than 1% in Gaza (2015 figures). In May 2019, the Archbishop of Irbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan spoke in the UK about the vanishing Christian community in Iraq. The numbers of Christians in Iraq have diminished from 1.5 million in 2003, to just 250,000 today.

  • Lord Jesus, we cry to you as we hear of the weakening of the Christian community in the Middle East after so many years of persecution. Lord, even in your birthplace the number of local worshippers declines. We pray that you will strengthen and encourage all those who seek to remain in the Middle East to continue to witness and to minister to others. Lord, in your name…hear our prayers.

Turkey’s incursion into northern Syria on Wednesday, the 9th of October, has caused hundreds of thousands of civilians to flee their homes. Plans to resettle several million Syrian Arab refugees along the area currently under Kurdish control will destabilise the area and is in breach of international law.

  • Lord, you watch over the sojourner, you uphold the widow and the fatherless and these are the very people who suffer most when war strikes. We pray for the young, the elderly and the infirm as they flee from their homes just as the winter months approach. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

On Thursday, the 10th of October, a protest convoy of hundreds of cars from the Arab Israeli community converged on Jerusalem. Drivers from the North and the South of Israel had come to protest the lack of response from the government and the police to growing violence in the Arab Israeli community. Joint List leaders formed from an alliance of Arab parties met with Public Security Minister, Gilad Erdan, and Israeli police chiefs to discuss initiatives to deal with the rising levels of violence and gun crime.

  • Lord, Lord we pray that the Israeli government would seek to care for all the people living in Palestine/ Israel and not just focus on services and care for the Jewish community, while turning a blind eye to the needs of others. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

10th October 2019

‘Ala’a Hamdan (28), from the Beit Hanoun area of Gaza, was killed, and 65 others injured, including 25 children, a woman and a paramedic, as a result of Israeli attacks against peaceful protestors at the 77th Great March of Return, this Friday, 04 October 2019.

  • Lord, we pray for the family of ‘Ala’a as they mourn their loss and for all those injured as a result of Israeli fire on mainly peaceful protestors. We continue to pray for all the people of Gaza, living under blockade and repeated military bombardment, adding fear to the misery of poverty and want. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

This week, the Kumi Now initiative looks at the work of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, (PCHR). This non-governmental organisation was set up in Gaza by a group of Palestinian lawyers and activists in 1995, in response to the rise in human rights’ abuses under the Israeli military occupation. They work to protect human rights and to promote the rule of law in line with international standards. In recent years they have been working to obtain travel permits for thousands of patients who are unable to receive urgent medical treatment in Gaza due to the Israeli siege.

  • Dear Lord, we pray for the work of the PCHR as they devote their energy to helping those in need in their land. We pray that the Israeli authorities would lift the twelve-year siege of Gaza, which is causing untold suffering and despair. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Samer Arbeed was rushed to hospital in a critical condition on the night of Saturday, 28th of September after undergoing interrogation and torture by Israel’s Shin Bet Security Service. He was being held under suspicion of masterminding an attack which claimed the life of an Israeli teenage girl, Rina Shnerb, in August. His lawyers insist that he was in good health before being taken into custody.

  • Lord, we pray that the torture during interrogation by Israeli security services is brought to an end. We pray with our brothers and sisters, who remembered Palestinian political prisoners in a service at the Orthodox Church in Ramallah this week. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Last week, Israeli occupation forces closed checkpoints between the West Bank, Gaza, and Israel for the two days of Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) celebrations, restricting most Palestinians from leaving the occupied territories. There will be two further closures of the border crossings for the Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) on October 8th and 9th and Sukkot (Feast of the Tabernacles) between October 13th and 21st.

  • Lord, we pray for an end to the apartheid system in the Holy Land. The Israeli authorities focus on their own services and festivals, disregarding the needs of the Palestinian population. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On the weekend beginning the 4th of October a conference took place in Härnösand, Sweden entitled, ‘Dialogue there, dialogue here’. Omar Harami from Sabeel Jerusalem was one of the speakers who addressed the challenge of trying to establish dialogue in Palestine/Israel today.

  • Lord, we pray for those who attended the conference, that they may have been encouraged to keep listening to others who may have quite different experiences and convictions from their own. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Friday, 5th October, thousands of Israeli Arabs, citizens of Israel, took part in protests against the Israeli Police’s failure to properly address violence in the Israeli Arab community. The peaceful protests were held in numerous Israeli Arab cities across the country, blocking major roads and entrances to majority Arab towns. Since the beginning of 2019, more than 70 Israeli Arabs have been murdered with little or no action by the Israeli Police towards preventing these crimes.

  • Lord of justice, we pray that you guide police in Israel, and around the world, to protect the people of all communities. Grant solace to those families who have lost loved ones through violence, and that the protests continue to be peaceful. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Sabeel is holding its annual Ecumenical Clergy Retreat this week Monday 14th to Friday 18th of October. The retreat will take place in Amman, Jordan. A number of distinguished clergy and lay people will lead the sessions.

  • We pray dear Lord for your blessing on this Retreat and for the ecumenical spirit that prevails in the Sabeel programs. Guide the speakers and the participants to be nourished by this fellowship and help them disseminate the right attitude in their parishes so that the “Other” will be a blessing.  Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Panama. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.