Sabeel Wave of Prayer: Week of Feb. 20, 2023
Next Tuesday Kumi Now will consider how Palestinians are impacted by the restrictions imposed on their freedom of movement by the Israeli authorities. More than 70,000 Palestinians face the dehumanising experience of being processed every day at the 500 permanent checkpoints and countless ‘flying’ checkpoints set up to control their journeys to school, hospital or work.
- Merciful Lord, we pray for the Palestinian people caged in their own land by military checkpoints, separation walls, travel permits. We pray for a dismantling of this inhumane system of oppression and degradation. Lord, in your mercy..
Last week, Issa Amro , the Palestinian activist and founder of Youth Against Settlements, was assaulted by an Israeli soldier as he was conducting a tour of his home city of Hebron. Lawrence Wright, a journalist for the weekly New Yorker magazine, filmed the incident. It showed an Israeli soldier grabbing Amro by the neck and throwing him to the ground and kicking him, before another soldier pulled him away.
- Lord, we bring to you the Palestinian people trying to survive in the city of Hebron as they face increasing levels of violence and abuse from Israeli soldiers and illegal Israeli settlers, now living in the Old City and in nearby settlements. Lord, in your mercy…
The Jerusalem Union of Christian Scouts undertook three days of events to raise funds for Syrian families who have been caught up in the recent devastating earthquakes. They managed to raise over 60,000 dollars.
- Lord, we give thanks for the outpouring of compassion and sacrificial giving from the Palestinian people to help those who have been affected by the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. Lord, in your mercy…
The Continental Synodal Assembly for the Middle East gathered in Beirut last week. Delegates representing seven Catholic Churches, (Coptic, Syriac, Maronite, Melkite, Chaldean, Armenian and Latin) from the Holy Land, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Iraq and Armenia came together to consider how to work with each other to address the many challenges they face in the region. Sawsan Bitar, the programme co-ordinator of Sabeel was one of the delegates from the Holy Land.
- Lord Jesus, we pray that the Beirut Assembly inspired the delegates to commit to working together for the Christian community in the Middle East and to delight in the rich diversity of their traditions, bound together in their shared faith. Lord, in your mercy…
On Wednesday, the 15th of February, the Knesset approved legislation that states that Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem sentenced to prison on offenses that breach ‘trust to the State of Israel’ can have their citizenship or residency revoked and be deported to the occupied West Bank or to Gaza. The new law is discriminatory as it only applies to Palestinian citizens of Israel and permanent residents of East Jerusalem; it does not apply to Israeli Jews.
- Merciful Lord, we cry out to you as we see the fundamental human rights of the Palestinian people being stripped away by the new Israeli government. We pray that international governments and organizations will speak up and challenge these further breaches of international and humanitarian law. Lord, in your mercy..
Last week Hassan Muheisin had to destroy a build extension on his home with his own hands, after a court appeal failed. The Jerusalem Municipality claimed he had built onto his home without a building permit and was going to charge him excessive costs for demolishing his extension. While building permits are extremely difficult to obtain to Palestinians, the Jerusalem Municipality grants permits for thousands of housing units to be built for the illegal Israeli settlers.
- Lord, we pray for the Palestinians living In East Jerusalem as they face an uncertain future with so many home demolitions and discrimination against them in employment and services, as well as the threat of forcible transfer to the occupied West Bank. Lord, in your mercy..
More than seventy UK Members of Parliament and the House of Lords, representing different political parties, have just written to the Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, to condemn Israel’s plans to forcibly evict Palestinians in the South Hebron Hills. More than one thousand Palestinians living in the Masafer Yatta area are at imminent risk of being forcibly displaced from their homes.
- Lord, we pray that the UK government will listen to the call of parliamentarians to hold the Israeli government to account for its plans to forcibly transfer the people of Masafer Yatta, which will be a grave breach of international law. Lord, in your mercy..
- We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of France, Germany and Monaco. Lord, in your mercy…