Sabeel Wave of Prayer: Week of March 6, 2023

Sabeel Wave of Prayer: Week of March 6, 2023

Next Tuesday Kumi Now will consider how peace building opportunities are opening up to Palestinian and Israeli women in spite of the occupation. We have just celebrated International Women’s Day and we think of the women activists involved in the nonviolent campaign of resistance against the Israeli occupation.

•    Lord, we thank you for the courage and commitment of the Palestinian and Israeli women working to bring about peaceful and lasting change to their country now ravaged by violence. Lord, in your mercy …

On Wednesday, the1st of March,Israel’s Finance Minister, Smotrich said that the Palestinian village of Huwara near Nablus in the occupied West Bank should be ‘wiped out’ and that the State of Israel should be the one to do so. This remark followed riots by Israeli settlers in the area which left one Palestinian shot dead, many others injured and property destroyed, in response to an earlier attack that killed two Israeli settlers.

•    Lord, we pray for the families of those killed or injured recently in Huwara. We pray that calm and order may be restored by the Israeli authorities and that all the perpetrators of the violence may be held to account for their actions. Lord, in your mercy..

Two sisters and their brother, aged 3,4 and 8 respectively, were fatally injured last Thursday morning when they were hit by a car in the Shuafat Refugee Camp in East Jerusalem. Paramedics reported that they had been hit by a car as they were walking to school. Doctors were unable to save their lives.

•    Merciful Lord, we bring the family and friends of these three young children from Shuafat Camp before you. We pray for support and comfort for them as they mourn their devastating loss. Lord, in your mercy..

The Popular Palestinian Conference was forced to issue a press release and abandon their television press conference in Ramallah last week. The Wattan TV offices were shut down by security officers from the Palestinian Authority. The conference was going to broadcast the text of a document signed by one hundred and fifty prominent Palestinians. They are challenging the Palestinian Authority’s decision to withdraw a plan to propose a UN resolution objecting to recent Israeli violations.

•    Lord we pray that the Palestinian Authority will respect the right of other Palestinians to express their views without fear of censorship. Lord. In your mercy…

Last week Israel’s National Security Minister, Ben-Gvir and Smotrich, the Finance Minister and Minister in charge of civilian affairs in the West Bank announced their decision to seize the bank accounts of 87 freed prisoners living in East Jerusalem. Since then two freed prisoners from Jerusalem, Mohammad Dirbas and Ayoub Afanah have had the funds in their bank accounts confiscated. While  the parents of Bashar al Obaidi, a prisoner from East Jerusalem have undergone punishment by the Israeli authorities. His mother was arrested and interrogated, while his father’s car was seized and confiscated.

•    Merciful and compassionate Lord, we cry out to you as we see the Israeli authorities loading heavier and heavier punitive measures on the backs of Palestinians. Lord, in your mercy..

Recently the Chelsea Community Hospital School at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital took part in a collaborative art project with school children from Gaza. Plates decorated by the Palestinian children were put on display at the hospital. However the display was removed after the hospital received a complaint from the UK Lawyers for Israel which stated that the display made Jewish patients feel ‘vulnerable, harassed and victimised’.

•    Lord we are saddened that a small art display in a London hospital reflecting the harsh realities of life in Gaza was removed. We pray for the children of Gaza who have only known terror, bombardment, poverty and deprivation for the past fifteen years under Israeli siege. Lord, in your mercy…

•    We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Ireland and the United Kingdom: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Lord, in your mercy..