Sabeel Wave of Prayer: Week of July 24, 2023

Sabeel Wave of Prayer: Week of July 24, 2023

Next week Kumi Now will look at Israel’s use of collective punishment against Palestinians. The Fourth Geneva Convention outlawed the use of collective punishment and yet Israel still implements this form of punishment without drawing down international condemnation. The blockade of Gaza, home demolitions, forcible transfers, restricting entry permits and night raids are all routine policies carried out by Israeli forces against Palestinians. Such discriminatory policies are defended by Israel as ‘necessary to its security’.

·         Lord, we pray that international organisations and individuals will continue to shine a light on Israel’s use of collective punishment against Palestinians, in violation of international law. Lord, in your mercy..

Aljazeera’s recent documentary, “Shooting the Messenger’, (19.7.23), focuses on how journalists are being targeted by the Israeli army. Since 2000 more than 55 journalists have been killed and many others seriously wounded. Israel claims that its troops are engaged in an ‘act of war’ and protects the identities of Israeli soldiers who cause death or injury.

·         Lord, we pray for journalists who risk life and limb to disclose the violence and injustice suffered by Palestinians under the Israeli occupation. We pray that any violations of international law committed by the Israeli army will be thoroughly investigated by the International Criminal Court and that any targeting of journalists and failing to protect them will be exposed and condemned. Lord, in your mercy..

Almost 90,000 students across the Palestinian Territories, including 5,200 students in Jerusalem, are celebrating the release of the results of their Tawjihi, or matriculation exams. Sadly, not every Palestinian family is celebrating as some are grieving for the six Tawjihi students who were killed by the Israeli army this year. The students were named as: Mahmoud Al-Saadi, Mohammad Turkman, Majdi Arrawai, (all from Jenin) Wadi’ Abu Ramoz(from Jerusalem), Ahmed Daraghmeh, (from Tubas) and Osama Adawi, (from Hebron).

·         Dear Lord, we pray for the family and friends of these students as they mourn their young lives cut short by the Israeli occupation. At a time of general celebration across Palestine help us to remember the deep sadness of these grieving families. Lord, in your mercy..

Last week Nikodemus Schnabel, an abbot in the Benedictine Order of the Dormition Abbey in Jerusalem was approached by an usher at the Western Wall and told to remove the cross he wears over his robes, as she deemed it was ‘a provocation’. At the time Schnabel was escorting the German Education Minister to an awaiting car after she had visited the Jewish holy site. He stated that this incident was symptomatic of the growing number of verbal and physical attacks he had recently experienced in the city, saying, ‘there have been many spitting attacks on me, verbal attacks, people who really push me.’ In the holy city for three religions, Christians, Moslems and even some Jews no longer appear to be welcome.

·         Lord, we pray for the holy city of Jerusalem as we see a dark climate of abuse and disrespect start to take a grip. Lord, in your mercy..

On Thursday, the 20th of July, two armed Israeli settlers broke into the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem, laid blankets and possessions down on the ground and announced they would remain there. When they were asked to leave by a church official they became abusive and shouted racist insults. The church has been caught up in legal battles with settler organisations which stake claims to the site of the church land.

·         Lord Jesus, we cry out to you as we see Christian churches in Jerusalem under frequent attacks as the effort to force Christians out of the city intensifies. Lord, in your mercy..

It is now over a year ago since Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American journalist, was shot dead during an Israeli military raid on Jenin. Dozens of US human rights’ groups are now urging Congress to pass a bill which would require the public reporting on the circumstances surrounding her death. Independent experts working for major media outlets have all concluded that Shireen was shot by an Israeli soldier.More than a hundred members of Congress have called for a thorough US-led investigation that results in accountability for those found responsible for Shireen’s death.

·         Lord, we pray that the circumstances surrounding Shireen’s death last year will be thoroughly investigated and openly reported. We pray that the US government will stand by its legal and moral obligations to ensure that its funding to the Israeli government does not support human rights abuses against Palestinians. Lord, in your mercy..

·         We join with the World Council of Churches in its prayers for the countries of Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. Lord, in your mercy..