Sabeel Wave of Prayer: Week of June 22, 2020
The Palestinian Health Minister warned of a sudden spike in the numbers of confirmed cases of COVID-19 infections in the occupied Palestinian Territories on Thursday, the 18th of June. Medical officials have recorded 45 new cases, bringing the total number to 745. Since the 5th of March, 570 patients have recovered, 5 people have died and 170 are still receiving treatment. The six hospitals in East Jerusalem have just received essential medical supplies and personal protective equipment from the European Union and the World Health Organization for frontline staff.
Dear Lord, we are thankful for the timely donation of medical supplies to help health workers in East Jerusalem hospitals to support those suffering from coronavirus. We pray for their protection as they carry out the treatments. We also pray for all those who have lost loved ones to the virus. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
This week’s Kumi Now Online talk was given by Sabeel and focused on the ways the occupation affects the city of Jerusalem. The Israeli government has separated East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank. It has gradually tightened its control over the area by refusing residency rights and building permits to Palestinians, carrying out extensive home demolitions and cutting back on the services and maintenance of the infrastructure.
Dear Lord Jesus, we thank you for the Christian witness of Sabeel in East Jerusalem. As we think about the deep divisions in the city of Jerusalem today, we remember your tears and lament as you rode into the city on Palm Sunday, ‘Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.’ We continue to pray for peace, justice, and reconciliation in the city of Jerusalem. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
Israeli settlers bulldozed several acres of Palestinian land in Qusra town, south of Nablus in the occupied West Bank to start building a road on Wednesday, the 17th of June. They are planning to build a 7 km road to connect an outpost to Migdalim settlement and to link settlements in the north of the West Bank with others in the Jordan Valley. There was also an area of fruit trees and Olives bulldozed in the al-Makhrour area of Bethlehem to make way for the extension of the Israeli route 60 road. Settler activity throughout the West Bank has recently escalated in preparation for the proposed annexation.
Dear Lord, we pray for an end to the illegal settler activity in the occupied Palestinian Territories. We pray that the Israeli government will be held to account for the ways in which they have established an apartheid state through the occupation. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
On Tuesday, the 16th of June, Joseph Borrell, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy spoke about a video conference held with Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, on the previous day. Borrell argued that the US peace plan, as it stands, does not ‘respect internationally agreed parameters. He commended instead the multilateral format for discussions which had been proposed by the German Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas.
Lord, we pray that the Israeli government’s plan to annex areas of the Palestinian West Bank will be opposed by lawmakers and governments around the world. We pray that world leaders will look instead for peaceful and just solutions to the Israeli/ Palestinian conflict so that all people can live there in peace and security. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
On Thursday, the 11th of June, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, (PCHR) in Gaza finished hosting a four-day training course on ‘Protection and Intervention Mechanisms to Eliminate Violence Against Women’. There were 25 male and female participants from four youth groups in Gaza. The course aimed at preparing participants to become more aware of the issues underlying gender-based violence and informing them of ways in which they could help their peers seek intervention and legal protection.
Lord, we thank you for the recent training courses hosted by the PCHR in Gaza. We pray that the young people who took part in the training will become advocates to help their peers to seek protection from violence. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
There has been an increase in violence throughout the Palestinian Arab communities, both in East Jerusalem and throughout Israel. This increase in violence has led to a number of injuries and deaths. Increased pressure caused by unemployment due to the Covid19 pandemic and the ongoing occupation has increased tensions.
Lord, we hear of the tragic increase in violence between families and others in the Palestinian Arab communities. We pray that the violence will cease, families can find ways to live in peace, and that the causes of this increase will end. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Kenya and Tanzania. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.