Over six thousand protestors took part in the weekly Great March of Return along the Gaza/Israel border on Friday, the 6th of September. Several protestors breached the fence and incendiary devices were thrown at the Israeli soldiers. Israeli forces responded with live ammunition, shooting dead two Palestinian teenagers, Khaled Al Raba’i, 14 and Ali Al Ashqar, 17. There were 70 other protestors wounded, including 38 by live fire.
Lord, we pray for the families of Khaled and Ali as they mourn the loss of their young lives. We continue to pray for a peaceable and just end to the siege of Gaza and for relief from the deprivation suffered by the people of Gaza. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayer.
The Kumi Now initiative focuses on the work of the Arab Educational Institute, (AEI), based in Bethlehem. This Palestinian organization focuses on education, peace building and dialogue in the occupied West Bank. Among other outreach projects, the AEI mounted 270 large, weather-resistant posters on the separation wall which surrounds Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem. This holy site can now only be accessed from the Israeli side of the 9-metre-high wall.
Dear Lord Jesus, we are so thankful for your sacrifice on the cross which has given us access to draw near to God through faith. We pray for the strength and conviction to overcome physical walls and the walls in our hearts to work for peace and understanding. Thank you for the AEI and their work to build peace across the divisions in the Holy Land. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayer.
Palestinian Bassam al-Sayyeh, from the West Bank district of Nablus, died on Sunday in Israeli jail from cancer. According to the Palestinian detainees and ex-detainees commission al-Sayyeh died due to medical negligence.
Lord, the writer of Hebrews asks us to remember those in prison as if we were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if we are the ones suffering (Hebrews 13:3). We remember the family of Bassam as they mourn their loss. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
Sheffield has become the first UK city to recognize the State of Palestine on Wednesday, the 4th of September. Husam Zomlot, the Palestinian Ambassador, raised the Palestinian flag outside the Town Hall before the historic motion was passed.
Lord, we pray that other cities and nations would join with Sheffield to recognize the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to free them from the Israeli occupation. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
The suspicious circumstances of Isra Gharib’s recent death in Beit Sahour have drawn attention to the practice of honor killing. She was admitted to the Arab Society Hospital, Bethlehem with severe spinal injuries. It is thought she may have jumped from a window in her home, after receiving beatings from her family, although they reject this accusation. Social media posts claim she died in her home after she was assaulted in hospital. If her death is established as an honor killing it would be the 19th case in Palestine in 2019.
Lord, we pray for Isra and her recent, suspicious death. We pray that any injustice may be followed up by the authorities and the legal and ethical aspects of honour killings would be openly debated. We pray that women in Palestine might be granted a greater degree of protection from violence under the law. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayer.
In the first week of September the Palestinian Authority announced that it had decided to cancel the division of the West Bank into Areas A, B, and C, according to the Oslo Accords the PLO had agreed with Israel in 1993 and 1995. All West Bank territories will now be deemed as Palestinian under its sovereignty. It is as yet unclear how the PA will be able to implement this decision.
Dear Lord, we pray for the millions of Palestinians who’s lives has been divided and disrupted with the division of the West Bank into areas A, B and C. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayer.
Ismail Ajjawi is a young Palestinian bound for Harvard University to study chemistry and physical biology. He has overcome great challenges as a refugee studying at an UNWRA school in Lebanon to win a full scholarship to study in the US. However, he only just made it to start his classes this week. When he first arrived with a valid visa last month the US Customs denied him entry and sent him back to Lebanon. He was then granted another interview and cleared to return.
Lord, we thank you that Ismail has been allowed to take up his studies at Harvard. We pray that this heightened focus on national security in the US will not deter other young students from pursuing their studies abroad. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Ghana and Nigeria. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.