Sabeel Wave of Prayer: Week of Dec. 21, 2020

Sabeel Wave of Prayer: Week of Dec. 21, 2020

Sabeel_logo_small.pngThe Palestinian farmers of Beit Dajan, east of Nablus depend on their harvest of grain, olives, almonds and figs for their livelihood. Much of their agricultural land was stolen by illegal Israeli settlements in the 1970s and now even more of their land is under threat from a newly constructed Israeli outpost. On Friday, 11th of December, the villagers gathered to plant olive saplings to the northeast of the village to prevent further land theft. This activity was dispersed violently by Israeli soldiers who shot and wounded two villagers and threw tear gas canisters at them. Two days later, farmers in Yatta, near Hebron, lost four hundred mature olive trees when Israeli settlers set fire to the Palestinian olive groves.

Lord, we pray for the Palestinian farmers who depend on the harvest of their crops for their livelihoods. We pray for an end to the violence and intimidation forced on these farmers by the Israeli military and settlers. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

Abdul-Nasser Halaweh, a Palestinian man with a severe hearing impairment, died on Friday, 11th of December. He suffered complications from wounds he sustained when he was shot by an Israeli soldier at the Qalandia checkpoint, north of Jerusalem. He had not heard the soldier’s order to stop and when he continued to walk on, the soldier shot him. The shots caused serious fragmentation of bones in his feet and led to his decline and death.

Lord, we pray for the family of Abdul-Nasser as they grieve their loss. We pray too for the dismantling of all checkpoints throughout the occupied Palestinian Territories where people are herded like cattle through pens and where people with disabilities can become vulnerable targets. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

On Saturday, 12th of December, Palestinian NGOs stated that 413 Palestinians had been rounded up in raids across the occupied West Bank in the month of November. The highest number of detentions took place in East Jerusalem, with 157 Palestinians arrested there. There are now 4,400 Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons, including 41 women and 170 children. There are 380 Palestinians being held under administrative detention.

Lord, we long for justice and peace in Palestine/Israel. We pray for those Palestinians who speak out about the injustice and oppression their people suffer and have to pay the price of imprisonment, sometimes without charge or trial. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

The Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem used a bulldozer to demolish the high stone wall of the Islamic al-Yousifieh cemetery in occupied East Jerusalem on Monday, the 14th of December. The municipality wants to build a park on the site.

Lord, we pray that the desecration of the cemetery in East Jerusalem will cease. We pray that sacred sites throughout the city would be respected by the Israeli authorities. Lord, in your mercy…

For the seventh consecutive week Palestinians with disabilities have continued their protest in the offices of the Palestinian Legislative Council in Ramallah. They are highlighting the urgent need for a comprehensive health insurance for people with disabilities. The pandemic has demonstrated how vulnerable they are to the loss of critical services or medication when a crisis hits.

Lord, we pray for a compassionate response to the needs of those living with disabilities in Palestine.  We know how many are suffering from poverty and unemployment during this time of pandemic, but how much more difficult it must be for those with lifelong disabilities. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

Kumi-Logo-01-e1536789062138.pngThe Kumi Now Initiative focuses on the work of the Military Court Watch,(MCW). The MCW monitors the treatment of children detained by the Israeli military system. It focuses particularly on the first 24 hours after the arrest of the child, as this is when most allegations of the denial of rights takes place.

Lord, we thank you for the work of the Military Court Watch. We pray that the widespread, illegal and institutionalized detainment and ill-treatment of Palestinian children by the Israeli military will cease. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

This Christmas we turn our eyes to Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, and we see a suffering town. The pandemic has hit the economy of the town hard with over 7,000 people working in the tourism sector, now unemployed for over nine months. Some families are having to withdraw their children from schools, forced to make hard choices between education, food or medicine. Others can no longer afford to pay rent and are having to move back in with their parents and grandparents.

Lord Jesus, you are the light of the world, (John 8:12). When we light our Advent candles remind us that we will not walk in darkness if we follow your light. When the darkness of poverty, oppression, illness and bereavement press in hard, lift our eyes to your light of hope. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Japan, North Korea, South Korea and Taiwan. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.