Sabeel Wave of Prayer

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.

Sabeel Wave Of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

16th January 2020

This week’s Kumi Now initiative focuses on the work of Machsom Watch, an Israeli women’s voluntary organisation. The word ‘machsom’ is Hebrew for ‘checkpoint’, referring to the Israeli force’s checkpoints which restrict the lives of Palestinians in the West Bank.

  • Dear Lord, we give thanks for the courage and convictions of the Israeli women who volunteer for work with Machsom Watch. We pray for an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine and for the oppressive policies which are blighting the lives of Palestinians and eating away at the moral fibre of Israeli society. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.

In the next few weeks Sabeel will be holding local meetings to discuss and plan their activities for 2020. Members will be praying and contributing towards a strategic plan for 2021-25.

  • Dear Lord Jesus, we come to you in our weakness and dependence on you for guidance and wisdom. We pray that your Spirit will guide the prayers and plans of those seeking to do your will through Sabeel and in creating an overall plan of activities for the next few years. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem has recently delivered twelve home demolition notices to Palestinian residents in the city’s Al Isaweyah neighbourhood in East Jerusalem. The notices were served on the premise that the homes were built without permits. Palestinians are rarely granted building permits, especially in East Jerusalem.

  • Dear Lord, our hearts sink as we hear of even more Palestinian families forced to leave Jerusalem, many facing an uncertain future. We pray for an end to the policy of home demolition and forcible expropriation of Palestinian homes in Jerusalem and throughout the West Bank. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS), issued a report on Wednesday the 8th of January, stating that the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) had committed 760 violations and crimes against Palestinian journalists in 2019. These crimes included 12 critical injuries with live ammunition, as well as injuries from rubber coated steel bullets, tear gas canisters, and stun grenades. Over recent years the Palestinian media have been under constant attack from IOF, the latest of which was the closure of the Palestine TV office in Jerusalem.

  • Dear Lord, we thank you for the courage and the work of Palestinian journalists as they seek to report on the oppression and injustice they witness under Israeli occupation. We pray that the right of freedom of expression and movement will be restored to Palestinian journalists. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Tuesday, the 7th of January, Palestinians were saddened to hear of the death of an eighteen-month-old toddler. Bilal Rabah Abu Sneineh was run over and killed by a vehicle driven by his mother in Khirbet Qilqis, south of Hebron. An investigation has been opened into the incident.

  • Dear Lord, we pray for all those who grieve for the death of Balal. We do not know the circumstances around his tragic death, but we pray that the truth may be established through the investigation. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The Israeli documentary, ‘Advocate’ directed by Rachel Leah Jones and Phillippe Bellaiche is one of fifteen films shortlisted for the documentary feature category of the 2020 Oscars. The film looks at the work of the Israeli lawyer Lea Tsemel, who defends Palestinians.

  • Lord, we thank you for the gifts of filmmakers who want to shine light on those who seek after justice. We pray that they may continue to find a forum for their work. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • Lord, we bring before you the war-torn countries of the Middle East. We pray for Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, and the Yemen. We pray too for the easing of tensions between the US and Iran. We pray for the millions of people in this region who have been uprooted from their homes and forced to flee to safety. Lord, so many face trauma, grief, and appalling living conditions in refugee camps. We pray for the hope of a future free from suffering, where all can live with their neighbours free from fear. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and the Yemen. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

  Sabeel Wave of Prayer

9th January 2020

This week’s Kumi Now initiative focuses on the work of the Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights in Gaza. Al Mezan was set up as an independent human rights’ organisation in Gaza in 1999. It works to help those affected by the Israeli restrictions on the movement of people in and out of Gaza, particularly those with serious health conditions. The Israeli authorities have increasingly denied patients access to life-saving treatments outside Gaza. After fifty years of occupation and over a decade of blockade, the healthcare system in Gaza has been stretched to breaking point.

  • Dear Lord, we thank you for the work of Al Mezan as they work to protect the human rights of those living in Gaza. We pray that the blockade of Gaza will come to an end and that patients needing to receive treatment in hospitals outside the enclave will be free to travel for that treatment. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The Christmas holidays are coming to an end and Palestinian schoolchildren and students will be returning to their studies.

  • Lord, we pray for the students in Palestine as they take up their studies. We pray for those who face the daily ordeal of Israeli checkpoints and searches as they grow up under occupation. May they be strengthened in their determination to endure and to complete their studies despite the difficulties they face day-to-day. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Palestinian human rights’ groups have reported that the Israeli authorities arrested 5,500 Palestinians in 2019. Among this number of detainees there were 889 children and 128 women. The groups estimate that 450 prisoners are currently held for long periods under administrative detention, without charge or trial. Their research shows that most detainees are subjected to coercion to elicit confessions during the interrogation period and that many endure assaults and torture.

  • Oh Lord, we turn to you and cry out for your help. We pray that you will ‘execute justice for the oppressed and set the prisoners free’, (Psalm 146:7). We pray that the Israeli authorities will abide by international law and cease to use torture on Palestinian prisoners and stop denying them fair trial on administrative detention orders. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On the 31st of December Israel approved the export of strawberries from Gaza, in addition to tomatoes and aubergines. This decision comes as part of a package of measures to shore up a permanent ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

  • Lord, we pray for the farmers in Gaza who have allocated large areas for the production of a strawberry crop to be sold in Israel and internationally. We pray that they may find a secure market for their crop and bring much needed employment to the enclave. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Tuesday, the 31st of December 2019, Jewish settlers hurled stones at Palestinian cars travelling between Nablus and Jenin. Twenty-five cars were attacked, and several passengers were injured by shattered glass from broken car windows.

  • Dear Lord, we pray for an end to the gratuitous violence from Jewish settlers against Palestinians going about their daily business. We pray that the authorities will put a stop to these acts of violence and prosecute the offenders. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Iran, Iraq and Syria. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

2nd January 2020

Thirty-nine Palestinian civilians, including 11 children and a woman, were shot and injured by Israeli occupation forces’ (IOF) fire against mainly peaceful protestors at the 86th Great March of Return in the eastern Gaza Strip, on Friday, 27th December 2019. The organisers of the demonstrations have decided to halt all demonstrations until the 30th March 2020 and from then on only hold monthly demonstrations. This decision was taken mainly due to concern about the vast number of injuries overstretching Gaza hospitals and progress in talks with the Israeli administration.

  • Dear Lord, we continue to pray for those injured and killed as they demonstrate for the right to return to their ancestral lands. We pray for progress in talks which move towards justice and peace for all. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The Kumi Now initiative focuses on the work of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, (ELCJHL). The ELCJHL is working to encourage Palestinian Christians to stay in the Holy Land, many have emigrated to the diaspora. The lack of freedom and security experienced by Christians under the Israeli occupation is forcing many Christian families to leave. The ELCJHL supports seven churches and four Lutheran schools, educating some three thousand students. They educate Christians and Muslim students side by side and have a strong ethos of teaching tolerance and peacebuilding.

  • Lord, we thank you for the witness of the Lutheran church and schools in the Holy Land. We pray for the pastors and teachers in their work to promote peace and justice among those they serve. God of peace, we pray you will rain peace on the Holy Land. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

As the New Year and decade dawn, the political situation in Palestine/Israel continues to appear uncertain. Israeli elections will be held again in springtime with hopes that Palestinian Authority elections will also be held soon. Many hope for change and yet signs of an end to the Israeli occupation appear few and far between.

  • Lord, we cry out to you and pray for those who suffer under the oppression of the military occupation in Palestine. We remember the refugees, the prisoners, the dispossessed, and the homeless. We pray that international lawmakers will bring pressure to bear on the Israeli government to bring about change in the Holy Land. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

There has been a recent widespread outbreak of influenza in Israel. Eleven people have died, and nearly one hundred others have been hospitalised due to complications caused by the flu virus.

  • Lord, we pray for the families who have lost loved ones as a result of this flu outbreak. We pray for those who are suffering in hospital that they may soon recover. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Thousands of Christian pilgrims flocked to Bethlehem to take part in the Christmas Eve celebrations in Manger Square and at the Church of the Nativity. The Palestinian Tourism Minister estimated that nearly 15,000 pilgrims stayed overnight in the hotels in Bethlehem.

  • Lord, we pray for the people of Bethlehem. We are encouraged that so many pilgrims are coming to visit the birthplace of Jesus. At the same time, we know that so many local Christians have been forced to leave their native town as conditions are so hard under the occupation. They face checkpoints, permits, a separation wall, economic hardship and intimidation. We pray for our brothers and sisters that they may keep their hope in God and other people, despite the pain and problems they face. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

26th December 2019

At least 30 Palestinians were injured on Friday as Israeli occupation forces fired upon thousands of protesters taking part in the weekly Great March of Return at Gaza border. The Ministry of Health reported that around 30 Palestinians, mostly non-violent protesters, were injured by live ammunition east of Gaza Strip.  Over 300 Palestinians have been killed and more than 30,000 injured by Israeli forces since the outbreak of the Great March of Return protests at Gaza border on March 30, 2018. The weekly protests call for lifting the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip and for the return of the Palestinian refugees to their ancestral homes in pre-1948 Palestine.

  • 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.

The Kumi initiative gives space for feedback this week on the Kumi Check-in, which happens three times each year. The Kumi team would particularly value your email feedback on the Kumi actions for their review.

  • Lord, we thank you for all those people around the world who make the effort to engage with the Kumi actions to raise greater awareness of the plight of the Palestinians. We pray that these actions would bring more international support to call for change. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Once again, we celebrate the glory and the mystery of the Nativity, when God sent his son into the world to dwell among us and ‘we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth’ (John 1:14).

  • Dear Lord, help us to focus on the true meaning of Christmas as we light our Christmas trees and sing our Christmas carols. May our hearts be full of thankfulness for your son, our Saviour and Redeemer, born in a lowly stable. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

“By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1:78-79). Zechariah prophesied the birth of Jesus and that this would light the way of peace. Today, Jesus’ birthplace, the town of Bethlehem stands under occupation, divided by a separation wall and checkpoints, overcrowded with refugee camps and surrounded by twenty-two Israeli settlements. Peace seems a long way off but there are people on all sides working towards a just peace throughout this land.

  • Dear Lord Jesus, we bring the town of Bethlehem, where you were born, before you in our prayers. Lord, we pray for the Palestinian people trying to survive in this town with the darkness of oppression all around. When the darkness threatens to overcome, help us to remember that you, the true light of the world, became flesh in this place. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Father Peter Madrous, a Roman Catholic priest from Jerusalem, died on the 18th of December. He was a courageous man who spoke out for the rights of Palestinians. He was also a gifted linguist who had mastered five ‘dead’ languages, as well as being able to speak and write eleven other languages. In 1973 he published an Arabic translation of the Book of Psalms.

  • Dear Lord, we give thanks for the life and gifts of Father Madrous and for his service in different parishes in Palestine, including Beit Jala, Beit Sahour, Ramallah. and Bethlehem. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Japan, North Korea, South Korea and Taiwan. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

19th December 2019

Over 2,000 Palestinians gathered in various parts of the Gaza Strip on Friday to take part in the weekly Great March of Return protests. The Palestinian Ministry of Health reported that five Palestinians were shot with live rounds fired by the army across the perimeter fence. One of the wounded Palestinians was shot in the head and suffered a serious injury. It added that four Palestinians were shot with rubber-coated steel bullets, and dozens suffered the effects of teargas inhalation.

  • 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 prayer.

This week’s Kumi Now initiative focuses on the work of the Military Court Watch (MCW).

MCW is a non-profit organisation which monitors the treatment of children in the Israeli military court system. Every year hundreds of Palestinian children are detained and prosecuted in the military courts.

  • ‘Let the children come to me,’ our Lord Jesus urged his disciples as they tried to hold them back, (Luke 18:16). We pray that in your compassion, Lord, you will see how Palestinian children are treated by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) in the West Bank. We pray for all those who are trying to support and protect them, and we pray for the dismantling of the Israeli military court system which has such a corrosive effect on the communities in Palestine. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Thursday, the 12th of December the Israeli authorities declared that Christians in the Gaza Strip would not be granted permits to travel to holy sites in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem or into Israel over Christmas. Only men over 45 wishing to travel abroad travel through Jordan may be granted permits.

  • We pray with our Christian brothers and sisters as they seek to challenge the decision of the Israeli government to ban permits for the people of Gaza to visit family and celebrate Christmas in the Israel or the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Last week the Arab Higher Monitoring Committee presented a strategic plan for combating violence within the Arab community in Israel. The plan recognises the social change being experienced by this community but points to the long period of neglect it has endured under successive Israeli governments. The plan would require local authorities to draw up priorities for their areas for reinvestment in social programmes, as well as reviving police action to curb criminal organisations.

  • Dear Lord, we thank you for the efforts of the Arab leaders to put in place measures to stop the violence and instability in their communities. We pray that funds will be made available from the government to implement their plans. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The female Palestinian karate team in Gaza have been enjoying success under the coaching of Has er-Rai. They have tough training schedules to meet and they are aspiring to compete on the international stage. However, they also have to face the Israeli travel restrictions on the enclave.

  • Lord we pray for the sportsmen and women in Gaza and in the West Bank who aspire to compete at the highest levels. We pray for their determination to overcome travel restrictions. We pray for the day when all those obstacles will be removed. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA) and Black4Palestine (B4P) have partnered to initiate a Black church outreach project that seeks to raise awareness in Black congregations about Palestinian freedom and justice. They invite Black Clergy, Black Christians, as well as members of the Black community and anyone who supports this statement to sign on in support of a Black church call to end Israeli apartheid and to uplift Palestinian demands for justice.

  • Lord, we pray that this joint initiative will bring the communities together through shared experience and narrative. We pray that the Black church call will be a tool to end injustice in Palestine. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • Lord, we give thanks for all those who attended the Sabeel Christmas Dinner on Saturday, the 14th of December. We pray that the friendships made and renewed on that joyous occasion would bear much fruit in the year ahead. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of China, Hong Kong, and Macau. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

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.