Sabeel Wave of Prayer: Week of Oct. 26, 2020

Sabeel_logo_small.pngSeven nurses demonstrated in a public square in Gaza on Wednesday, the 21st of October to protest the withdrawal of their travel permits by the Israeli authorities and the decision by Makassed Hospital in East Jerusalem to lay them off. Each one of the male nurses is highly experienced, having worked in the hospital for more than twenty years. It is unlikely that they will be able to find paid employment in Gaza where over half the population are unemployed.

Dear Lord, we bring the situation in Gaza before you again. The people there are hemmed in by the Israeli blockade and are deprived of food, work, medical provisions and most importantly of any hope for the future. We pray for an end to this pitiless blockade. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

Iyad al-Hallaq was a 32-year-old Palestinian man with autism. He was shot and killed by an Israeli border policeman on the 30th of May, when he was on his daily journey to the special needs school where he was employed in occupied East Jerusalem. On Wednesday, the 21st of October the Israeli Justice Ministry stated that the policeman who shot him could stand trial for reckless homicide.

Lord, we pray for the family of Iyad as they mourn the tragic death of their son. We pray that the Israeli courts will not ‘turn aside the needy from justice’ (Is 10:2) but would carry out a fair and just investigation into Iyad’s shooting. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

‘Peace Now’, the Israeli settlement watchdog, reports that the number of approvals for settlement expansion in 2020 far outstrips those agreed in previous years. This year more than 12,000 housing units for settlers will be built in the occupied Palestinian Territories, in contravention of international law.

Dear Lord Jesus, we long for peace in Israel/ Palestine and yet the prospect of peace seems more and more remote as we see the settlements mushroom across Palestinian land. We pray that Israel will truly freeze all further annexation of the Occupied Territories and not just make empty claims while continuing expansion through settlement activity. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

The Palestinian Ministry of Social Affairs has spoken out about the ‘heinous’ murder of a young Palestinian mother of two children, from Nabi Elias in the northern West Bank on Wednesday, the 21st of October. The police have detained her husband.

Lord, we pray for the family of this young Palestinian mother as they grieve for her. We pray too for the many women who suffer violence, particularly at this time of pandemic. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

Maher al-Akhras has now been on hunger strike for over ninety days and is at the point of death. His strike is in protest over Israel’s extensive use of administrative detention which allows authorities to hold prisoners indefinitely without trial, sometimes for years. As of August, this year there are more than 350 Palestinians being held under administrative detention, according to the Israeli Human Rights organization, B’Tselem.

Lord, we pray for Maher and his principled struggle to protest against administrative detention. We pray that, even now as his strength is failing, the Israeli High Court would show compassion and release him to recover his freedom and his health. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

On Monday, the 19th of October, Israeli settlers from Elon Moreh used sewage and waste water to flood the olive groves of Palestinian owned land in the village of Deir al-Hatab, east of Nablus. This attack comes at a critical time when the farmers are preparing to harvest the olives.

Dear Lord, we trust in your steadfast love and how season after season you provide the harvest. We pray that Israel will put an end to settler attacks that destroy the olive harvest and rob the Palestinian farmers of their livelihoods. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Canada and the United States of America. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.


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