Sabeel Wave of Prayer
Thursday, 23rd January 2020
This week’s Kumi Now initiative looks at the work of the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (PASSIA). PASSIA was set up in 1987 as an independent, non-profit institution addressing Palestinian issues through academic research. It focuses particularly on the Israeli violations of international law in East Jerusalem.
- Dear Lord, we thank you for the work of PASSIA, their monitoring of the demolition of Palestinian homes and the expropriation of their land and places of worship in East Jerusalem. We pray for all those who seek to address injustice and risk their own freedom to speak truth to those in authority. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
On Friday, the 17th of January, the Israeli police stormed the Al Aqsa compound after thousands of Palestinians responded to a call to worship and protest against Israeli incursions on to the compound against the status-quo and plans to take over Muslim holy sites. Many worshippers were assaulted, and five protesters were shot with rubber coated steel bullets. Similar protest rallies were called at Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque and in Gaza.
- Dear Lord, we pray for an easing of tensions at the Muslim holy sites. We pray that the Israeli settlers and authorities will cease their violent assaults on the Palestinians and start to demonstrate an attitude of respect and reconciliation towards people of a different faith. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
Israeli forces demolished the foundations of a new school that was being built near Yatta, south of Hebron in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, the 16th of January, without giving prior notice. The school was planning to accommodate children living in remote villages in the area who have to travel long distances to attend school. The area is close to the illegal Israeli settlement of Beni Hefer.
- Oh Lord, we pray for the young children living in remote villages in Palestine who have to walk across hazardous terrain each day to go to school. We pray that the Palestinian authorities will persevere in their attempts to build schools, despite the setbacks they face from demolitions. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
Ir Amim, an Israeli activist organisation, released their most recent report on Wednesday, the 15th of January. It revealed that 104 Palestinian housing units were demolished in East Jerusalem in 2019, compared to 72 units in 2018. The report also showed that only 7% of the housing units agreed by city planners were for Palestinian neighbourhoods.
- Lord, we thank you that some Israelis are reporting on the injustice and inequity in how the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem are treated by the Israeli authorities. We pray for an end to the practice of house demolitions and for an end to the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
The third International Meeting for Scientists for Palestine took place at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the USA over the weekend beginning on Friday, the 10th of January. The aim of the meetings is to promote and support the development of science in Palestine, despite the stifling effects of the occupation. There were over 200 participants with 30 presenters. The conference organiser, Ubai Aboudi, the Director of the Bisan Centre for Research in Ramallah was arrested in November 2019 and has been held on administrative detention
- Dear Lord, we pray for the international community of scientists who are working to promote the development of science in Palestine. We also pray for the release of Ubai Aboudi from administrative detention. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
Ahmad Zahran has been held under Israeli administrative detention since March 2019. He has suffered deteriorating health after undergoing 113 days of hunger strike in protest against his detention order. On Monday, the 13th of January, he called his family to inform them that he had reached an agreement with the prison administration and that he would be released on the 25th of February.
- Dear Lord, it seems so harsh that Palestinian political prisoners have to starve themselves to the point of death to receive release from the detention orders that can keep them incarcerated for years, on secret evidence, without charge or trial. We pray for an end to this inhumane imprisonment for 450 Palestinians who are currently held on administrative detention orders. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
- Dear Lord Jesus, we pray for the family and friends of Father George Shahwan as they mourn his recent loss. He was an old friend and supporter of Sabeel and we thank you for his service as priest to the Greek Orthodox Church of St Mary’s, Beit Jala. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
- In this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, we join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Cyprus, Greece and Turkey. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.