Sabeel Wave of Prayer: Week of Nov. 16, 2020
Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, died of coronavirus at the age of 65 years on Tuesday, the 10th of November. He had been recovering from a lung transplant when he contracted the virus. A three-day period of mourning was held for him in the West Bank, in recognition of his efforts to negotiate a just peace for Palestinians over the period of many years.
Lord, we pray for the family and friends of Saeb Erekat who mourn his death. We pray that other negotiators will be raised up in the Palestinian community who will be inspired by his tenacity and will work tirelessly to bring an end to the occupation of the Palestinian Territories. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.
This week’s Kumi Now Initiative focuses on the work of the Mennonite Palestine Israel Network (Menno PIN) which works to raise awareness of home demolitions in the occupied Palestinian Territories. In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic there was a spike in the numbers of Palestinian homes demolished by the Israeli authorities. In 2020 Israel has, so far, demolished 700 buildings and, as a result, 869 Palestinians have lost their homes in the West Bank – this includes what the UN noted was the “largest demolition of Palestinian homes in a decade” when the Bedouin village of Khirbet Humsa was demolished on 4th November, leaving 73 people including 41 children homeless.
Dear Lord, we pray that the Israeli government will put an end to this policy of mass demolition of Palestinian homes. May Israel, as an occupying power, remember its obligations under international law to protect civilians, refrain from the forcible transfer of population and respect private property. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.
The Israeli authorities are ready to start excavation work in occupied East Jerusalem to prepare for the construction of a cable car to transport tourists to Jewish holy sites. This project, controversial with many Israelis as well as Palestinians and internationals, would alter the landscape of the historic Old City of Jerusalem and expand the Israeli presence in a Palestinian majority neighborhood. Several established Palestinian families have already been forced to leave the area by a settler group called Elad, which manages the ‘City of David’ archaeological park in Jerusalem.
Dear Lord, we continue to pray that the city of Jerusalem will remain a city shared peaceably by Israelis, Palestinians and people from many nations. We pray that attempts to erase the Palestinian presence in the city will be thwarted. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.
Asma Mustafa, an English language teacher at the Halima Al Saadia School for Girls in northern Gaza, has won the award of Global Teacher of the year 2020 from the AKS Educational Award in India. Asma was prompted to enter the competition to increase world recognition of the high standards of education achieved in Palestine.
We thank you, Lord, for the vocation and dedication of educators like Asma who work hard to help their students learn effectively. Such gifted teachers inspire their students to work hard and achieve good results, even in the face of poverty and deprivation. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.
On Monday, the 9th of November, the United Nations’ agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) had to tell their staff that they were unable to pay their salaries this month. The agency provides education, health and relief services to around 5.7 million refugees and it has been hit hard by the funding cuts from the US and other donors.
O, Lord, you are our stronghold in the time of trouble (Ps37:39). We bring before you this crisis at UNRWA and pray that even at this eleventh-hour international bodies will step forward with donations to save millions from slipping into poverty and want. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.
The Palestinian News and Information Agency, (WAFA), released a report on Sunday, the 8th of November detailing 17 violations committed by the Israeli forces against Palestinian journalists and media outlets during the month of October. Journalists had been shot, beaten and choked by tear gas, while some were arrested, and others had their press card revoked.
Lord Jesus, you rejoice in the truth, not wrongdoing, (1 Cor 13:6). We pray for journalists working in the occupied Palestinian Territories who are prepared to risk their lives to report the truth of wrongdoing happening under the Israeli occupation. We continue to pray for a dismantling of the occupation in Israel. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.
Maher Al-Akhras has agreed to end his hunger strike and is now undergoing medical treatment in hospital. The Israeli authorities have cancelled his current administrative detention order and will release him on the 26th of November.
Lord, we are thankful for the end of Maher’s sentence and we pray that he may recover his health after his long and painful hunger strike. We pray that the Israeli authorities will cease imprisoning Palestinians without charge, trial or any due process. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayers.
We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of East Timor (Timor Leste), Indonesia and the Philippines. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.