Sabeel Wave of Prayer: Week of June 7, 2021

Sabeel Wave of Prayer: Week of June 7, 2021

This week’s Kumi Now online gathering looked at the environmental damage of the occupation in Palestine/Israel. The environment has been traumatized by the uprooting of native trees, the construction of settlements, the building of the separation wall, military activities and the engineering of water projects that divert water from the Jordan Valley and underground aquifers. Next week’s Kumi Now will consider the topic of ethical tourism and pilgrimages.

  • Lord, we pray that the full cost of the ravaging of the Holy Land through the Israeli occupation will be recognised before irreversible damage is done. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Yousef Issa is a 23-year-old Palestinian from the town of Lydda, east of Tel Aviv. He was standing outside, minding his own business, when he was suddenly shot by Israeli police. His injuries have left him with speech and movement difficulties. No police officers have been prosecuted for this assault.

  • Lord, we pray that all perpetrators of violence against innocent victims will be held accountable under the law in Israel, no matter their ethnicity or occupation. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Last week the Israel Land Authority, (ILA), finally relinquished its ownership of the Al-Zaher Omar fort. The Safa’amr municipality has been contesting their claim of ownership of the fort and the surrounding land for the past seventy-three years.

  • Lord, so many Palestinian properties and sites have been confiscated or denied access to by the Israeli authorities. We pray that they may be restored to their owners and, once again, opened for public access. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Friday, the 28th of May, the Israeli Central Court postponed hearings into the forcible evictions of seven Palestinian households in Batn al-Hawa, in the neighborhood of Silwan, in occupied East Jerusalem in favor of Jewish settlers.

  • Lord, we pray for the hundreds of Palestinian people in East Jerusalem who are facing the imminent threat of unjust eviction. We pray that the international community will challenge the Israeli authorities on their policy of home evictions in the Occupied Territories. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The Israel Land Authority, (ILA), has invited bids from Israeli construction companies to fully “redevelop” the Lifta neighborhood of Jerusalem. Lifta is one of the few remaining Palestinian villages that give a glimpse of the character of the hundreds of Palestinian villages depopulated in the Nakba. Descendants of those Palestinians forced to leave Lifta are asking the international community to put a stop to its total destruction.

  • Lord, we pray for all those forced from their homes in Palestinian villages in the Nakba. We pray that the remains of the village of Lifta may be preserved for posterity and the right for Palestinian refugees to return to their homes be respected and no longer ignored. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Mohammad Awwad, 25-year-old from Bethlehem and Ghadanfar Atwan, 28-year-old from al-Khalil are two Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails who are in their fourth week of hunger strike in protest against their administrative detention orders.

  • Lord, we pray for the health of Mohammad and Ghadanfar as they suffer their hunger strike. We pray for an end to the Israeli practice of administrative detention, that deprive Palestinian political prisoners to have access to their judicial rights. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Jawad Abbasi is a fifteen-year-old boy from the Ras al Amoud area of Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem, who was injured after being chased and hit by an Israeli police car for displaying a Palestinian flag on his bike. The police detained him and later released him to receive treatment for his injuries in hospital.

  • Lord, it is difficult to hear that a child has been deliberately injured by a police car for having a flag on his bike. We pray for an end to the campaign of harassment and intimidation being carried out by the Israeli authorities on the Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

At least 14 Palestinians were injured on Friday, 4th June, as Israeli occupation forces attacked and dispersed a ‘marathon’ organized by Palestinian protesters outside the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in occupied Jerusalem. Competitors had run from Silwan to Sheikh Jarrah wearing t-shirts reading ‘7,850’, representing the number of people facing eviction from their homes. They had just finished running and were celebrating at the finish-line, when Israeli occupation forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets into the crowd.

  • Lord, we thank you for those willing to turn to creative forms of non-violent protest in support of those under threat from the worst actions of the occupation. We pray that justice will be done and that the residents of Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah will be allowed to remain in the homes their families have lived in for generations. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

During the past week Palestinian artists have been painting murals that depict the narratives in their towns. They hope to encourage the steadfast spirit of their people living under adversity.

  • Lord God, our Creator, we thank you for the creative gifts of all artists and for the mural painters. We thank you that when we expose dark works to the light, they become visible and somehow less frightening. Lord, help us to walk in love, as children of light. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Eswatini. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.