The ‘Great March of Return’ and ‘Breaking the Siege’ protests continued on Friday. Reports state that 95 people were injured by Israeli forces, including 33 children, 1 journalist, and 4 women, one of whom was a volunteer medic. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) has documented that Israeli soldiers have killed 207 Palestinians, including 44 children, 2 women and 9 Palestinians with special needs, in addition to 4 medics and 2 journalists, since March 30th, 2018. According to Protocol 1 of the Geneva Convention, it is illegal to target civilians, which Israel has been doing since the outset of the demonstrations.
Lord, we continue to pray for the people of Gaza as they raise their voices in protest. May your will be done so that all the people of this land may come to enjoy the fruits of a just peace. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.
The Israeli election campaigns have begun over the last few days in preparation for the September rerun election. Far-right Israeli party Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) launched its campaign by calling for Palestinians to be expelled ‘to their countries of origin’. Party head Michael Ben Ari told the audience that, “we want to resettle our enemies in their countries… we’ll give them a bottle of mineral water and even a sandwich. We’ll find them countries of origin they can go to.”
We pray for respect between peoples and religions. In the week when the Otzma Yehudit party said the Palestinians should be expelled from this land of the Holy One, we pray that all right-thinking people will condemn such words and turn our energies to seeking justice for all, which can also lead us on the path to peace and reconciliation. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.
Israeli authorities are requiring all high school students – Jewish and Arab – to pass an online government propaganda course that promotes racist ideology before they are allowed to participate in overseas class trips, according to Adalah - The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, which is now taking legal action to fight this racist practice. Questions include “How do Palestinian organizations use digital social networks?” from the four optional answers, the one seen as correct is “encouraging violence.” Another question asks students to identify the origins of modern anti-Semitism. The exam’s correct answer is “Muslim organizations” and “the BDS movement.”
Lord, we pray for all high school students as they embark on overseas trips with their class or with summer schools. We pray that a time will come soon when their lives are free from the racist ideology promoted by the current Israeli government and for groups such as Adalah, who are working to bring this future to reality. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.
This week the Kumi Now initiative focuses on Sabeel-Kairos UK and Morally-Responsible Investing. You are invited to read the information about Sabeel-Kairos UK, the topic of Morally-Responsible investing, and the case study. The Kumi Action invites you to write to your church and ask them if they have an ethical investment screen in place and whether they invest in organisations which support the occupation or oppression of Palestine.
Lord, give strength and courage to those engaging with the Kumi Now initiative that they may engage fully with this week and the Kumi action. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.
Attacks by illegal settlers in Hebron continue daily. On Saturday, 6th July illegal settlers assaulted 10-year-old Raed Tamimi while Israeli occupation soldiers stood looking on, leaving him requiring hospital treatment for lacerations and bruises. Raed’s father said that he was heading to his pottery shop in the Old City, after returning from the markets’ area in Hebron, and then asked his child to carry some items to take them home in the southern part of the city.
Lord, we pray for the Palestinian residents of Hebron, particularly the children who are witnessing harassment and aggression on a day-to-day basis. We pray that these attacks from the Israeli settlers will cease as the physical and mental injury they cause are leading to unknowable damage for the future hopes of Palestinians. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayers.
On Monday 8th July, Sabeel Jerusalem will hold a Bible study for Jerusalem women led by Sabeel founding member Cedar Duaybis.
Lord, we are thankful for the continuing Sabeel contextual bible study sessions with the community in Palestine. We, specifically, raise before you the commitment of the women who will meet at Sabeel Jerusalem. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayers.
We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Eritrea and Ethiopia. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.