The Great March of Return was suspended this past Friday due to the two days of bombing from Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) throughout the Gaza strip in response to rocket fire from Islamic Jihad. Up until the declaring of an Egypt and UN negotiated ceasefire, IOF killed 33 Palestinians; 14 of them were civilians, including 3 women and 8 children. Furthermore, 46 Palestinian civilians, including 16 children and 6 women, were injured. Included in these numbers is the tragedy of the killing of 8 members of one family in the Dir al-Balah area of Gaza. The family home was bombed on the basis of ‘out-of-date intelligence’ according to the IOF.
God of peace, our prayers for a real and lasting cease-fire and the protection of the civilians are unending. From lack of water, electricity, and medical supplies to the onset of diseases, the humanitarian disaster in Gaza has no immediate end. Lord, comfort your people in Gaza; be with them in the shelters, in their broken neighborhoods, in the overcrowded hospitals, and in the lines as they wait for water. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.
The Kumi Now initiative focuses on the work of Wi’am, the Palestinian Conflict Transformation Center based in Bethlehem. Wi’am helps to resolve disputes in the Palestinian community. It has also set up programs to help the local community deal with the long-term effects of the Israeli military occupation. There are nearly twenty thousand Palestinian residents living in cramped conditions in the nearby Aida and Dheisheh refugee camps. They experience high levels of stress due to frequent military incursions and arrests in the camps.
Dear Lord, we thank you for the work of Wi’am and particularly for their outreach work with children living in the overcrowded refugee camps. We pray that their work in the shadow of the separation wall will bring light and hope to those who live in a dark and dangerous area. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
The Sabeel Annual Christmas Dinner will take place on the 14th of December in East Jerusalem. Clergy and community members from all Christian denominations are invited to celebrate together and to renew their bonds of friendship and mutual support.
Lord, we give thanks for this joyful event and rejoice that our Palestinian brothers and sisters will be drawn together in this celebration as ‘one body in Christ’. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
Ayman Odeh, an Israeli Arab lawyer and politician has been listed in the ‘Leaders’ group in Time magazine’s ‘100 Next’ listing of rising stars who are shaping the future in various fields. Odeh is the leader of the Hadash party, a member of the Knesset, and the head of the Joint List alliance. He urges Jewish-Arabic co-operation as a way forward in the political arena.
Lord, we pray for all those who work for peace, equality and righteousness in the Holy Land in a spirit of co-operation and understanding. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
Sabeel is hosting its first International Gathering from the 2nd to the 7th of December. Those attending the Gathering will meet in a variety of settings in Bethlehem to gain a deeper understanding of the political situation in the Holy Land. They will also have the opportunity to worship and enjoy fellowship with the Christian community, as well as meeting Jews and Muslims.
Lord, we pray for all the careful planning and organization that is going on to make the Gathering relevant and interesting. We pray that you would enable those you want to attend to learn and to be ready to share what they have learnt when they return home. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayer.
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 prayer.