Sabeel Wave of Prayer: Week of Aug. 27, 2018

Sabeel_logo_small.pngThe ‘Great March of Return’ continues into its fourth month. On Friday the 24th of August, approximately 5000 people attended the demonstration and the Israeli army fired live ammunition and tear gas at the protestors. More than 189 people were wounded and at least fifty of those who were wounded, were hit by live ammunition.

We pray for the safety of the protestors in Gaza as they continue to use non-violent means to achieve their rightful aims. Lord, in your mercy…

In the wake of the protest over the Nation-State Law, which took place on the 14th of July in Rabin Square, Tel Aviv, the Likud party has proposed a new bill. On Wednesday the 22nd of August, it outlined  a bill which would prohibit the Palestinian flag, along with the flags of other ‘enemy nations’, from being raised in  any demonstration where more than three people had gathered. The ban would carry a sentence of one years’ imprisonment for anyone who raised the forbidden flag.

Lord, we continue to pray for the safeguarding of freedom of speech and the right of the people to resist injustice in Israel. We pray that those in positions of authority would be mindful of the rights of all their citizens and would work for the benefit of all the people living in Israel. Lord, in your mercy…

On Thursday the 24th of August, Pierre Krähenbühl, the Swiss national who leads UNRWA stated, ‘one cannot simply wish away five million people’, in response to attempts made by Israel and the US to dismantle the agency. He spoke of the impact of the US funding cuts of $300 million earlier this year which have caused cuts to community mental health services, job creation and food distribution in the Gaza Strip. He warned that any further cuts would risk undermining the security and the stability of the region.

O God of righteousness, who brings relief when we are distressed, ‘Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord,’( Psalm 4:6). Strengthen us, Lord, and help us to support those who seek to bring assistance to all those in desperate need in the occupied territories. Lord, in your mercy…

On Thursday the 23rd of August Alistair Burt, the UK Minister for the Middle East, issued a statement condemning the Israeli governments plans to construct 2,100 new Jewish settlement units across the West Bank. He reaffirmed that these settlements would be illegal under international law and noted that they ‘remain one of the obstacles to a viable two-state solution’.

Lord, we pray for  all those  around the world who speak up for the powerless and who use their authority to expose injustice. Lord, in your mercy....

Majd al-Mashharawi, a twenty four year old engineering graduate and entrepreneur from Gaza has been attempting to bring her SunBox solar energy kits into Gaza through the Karm Abu Salem crossing. The kit is an inexpensive and lightweight solar-powered system suitable for providing energy for small fridges, motorized wheelchairs, laptops and smart phones. She launched the initiative last month but was stopped by the closure of the crossing by Israel. Two weeks ago the crossing was reopened and she was finally able to bring 200 of the kits into Gaza.

We give thanks, Lord, when we hear of young people using their gifts to work for the benefit of their communities and to demonstrate their desire to conserve their environment even in adverse conditions. Lord, in your mercy…

On Saturday the 25th of August six activists from the Israeli-Palestinian anti-occupation group Ta’ayush were attacked by a group of at least ten settlers in the South Hebron Hills. The activists were documenting illegal construction in the unauthorized Israeli outpost of Mitzpe Yair. They were thrown to the ground, assaulted and their cameras were broken in the presence of Israeli soldiers. Four of the activists needed to attend hospital for their injuries.

Lord, we pray for all who are willing to risk their personal safety to expose illegal activities in the occupied territories. We pray that they may find the strength and commitment to carry forward their work. Lord, in your mercy…

Despite the massive funding cuts, UNRWA has decided to open schools for Palestinian refugees after the summer break. It supports over seven hundred schools and educates more than half a million students. However the Commissioner-General warned that the agency only had enough funds to last until the end of September and is urgently seeking funding from other donors. He asserted, ‘It is crucial to protect the fundamental right to education for Palestinian refugee girls and boys and the community’s unwavering attachment to learning and the development of skills’.

Lord, we give thanks for the teachers and staff running the UN schools. We pray that provision will be found to keep the schools open and to enable the students to continue their studies. Lord, in your mercy…

We join the World Council of Churches in praying for the countries of Cape Verde, the Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal. Lord, in your mercy......


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