Sabeel Wave of Prayer: Week of May 23, 2022
This week’s Kumi Now online gathering focused on how Palestinians are working to preserve their culture and history. Next week, on Tuesday, the 31st of May, the topic will be the high number of child fatalities in Palestine. Defence for Children International Palestine monitors these fatalities and records widespread Israeli military violations against Palestinian children living under occupation.
• Merciful Lord, we bring before you the children of Palestine. So many of these children suffer death, injury, imprisonment and trauma under Israeli occupation. We pray for an end to the occupation and a restoration of the human rights of all the children living in the Holy Land. Lord, in your mercy..
In the first week of May the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that the Israeli authorities can destroy eight villages in the Masafer Yatta area of the South Hebron Hills and expel more than 1,200 Palestinian inhabitants permanently. The area is designated a firing zone, but illegal outposts which have been set up by Israeli settlers in the area will not be destroyed.
• Lord, we pray that the international community will call the Israeli government and its judicial system to account for the way it is dismissing international humanitarian law. We pray that pressure from governments around the world will stop the forcible transfer of Palestinians living in the Masafer Yatta area. Lord, in your mercy..
The Israeli government and police have agreed to allow the Jerusalem Day march to go ahead on Sunday, the 29th of May. The route will take Israelis through the Muslim Quarter and they will enter the Old City through the Damascus Gate as they proceed to the Western Wall. The day is a celebration of the Israeli conquest of the Old City and East Jerusalem in the 1967 War and it has become a way for nationalists to assert Israeli sovereignty throughout the city.
• Lord, we pray for the peace of Jerusalem. We pray that this provocative march be cancelled altogether and that International Law be respected in occupied East Jerusalem. Lord, in your mercy..
On Sunday, the 16th of May, the Israeli Supreme Court rejected several petitions against a controversial cable car project. Israeli supporters of the project want to connect the western and eastern sides of the city. The cable car is set to pass over the Jewish Karaite cemetery and will reach the City of David park in Silwan, a Palestinian neighborhood, whose residents have long faced eviction. The historical skyline of the Old City in occupied East Jerusalem will be dominated by the cable car construction.
• Lord, we pray that there will be a review of this project which threatens to further diminish the Palestinian presence and to assert Jewish sovereignty in the city of Jerusalem. Lord, in your mercy…
Thousands of people gathered in the US city of Paterson, New Jersey to celebrate the renaming of part of the Main Street, as ‘Palestine Way’. Paterson City Council renamed the street in honor of the contribution its Palestinian community has made to civic life. Alaa Abdelaziz, the city’s first Palestinian-American councilor commented, ‘It’s a celebration, but it’s also showing that Palestinians are human. We are Americans and we will never forget where we come from.’
• Lord, we thank you for the contributions Palestinians in the diaspora make to their local communities. We pray that the Palestinians living abroad will continue to support and advocate for their families still living under the grip of the Israeli occupation. Lord, in your mercy..
Aida Abu Farha, from the town of al-Jalama, near Jenin in the occupied West Bank, has now received widespread recognition for her mastery of the Palestinian art of ‘zajal’, a traditional form of oral poetry. This ancient form of artistic expression used to be the sole preserve of men, but Aida has persevered and studied to improve her skills at composing ‘zajal’. She is now invited to perform at many different cultural occasions.
Lord, we give thanks for the gifts you have given Aida and her determination to persevere with her studies and performance despite facing discrimination. We are thankful that she intends to pass on this precious heritage to the younger generation. Lord, in your mercy..
The six Palestinian NGO’s designated by Israel as ‘terror organizations’ have called on the international community to take action against Israel’s unfounded harassment of them. Israel claims it has ‘secret evidence’ which condemns them, but has failed to provide any concrete evidence. Last week the Carter Center confirmed it would continue to support the organisations and denounced Israel’s move as a way to ‘silence voices calling for accountability for the Israeli occupation authorities.’
• Lord, we pray for the Palestinian organizations working to defend the human rights of the poor and defenseless in their society, that any false witness against them may be withdrawn. Lord, in your mercy..
At a news conference at St Joseph’s Hospital in East Jerusalem on Monday, the 16th of May, Christian leaders of 15 denominations condemned the violent intrusion of Israeli police at Shereen Abu Aqleh’s funeral procession. Monsignor Tomasz Grysa, the Vatican’s representative in Jerusalem, accused Israel of brutally violating an agreement to uphold religious freedom. Patriarch Pizzaballa described the disproportionate use of force by the Israeli police as, ‘a severe violation of the international norms and regulations, including the fundamental human right of freedom of religion.’
• Lord, we cry out to you over the killing of Shereen and for the brutal violence used by Israeli police on the mourners at her funeral. We continue to pray that the international community will carry out a full investigation into her death and funeral and hold to account those who perpetrate injustice. Lord, in your mercy.. • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the Indian Ocean Islands: Comoros, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles. Lord, in your mercy..