Thursday, June 4, 2009

4/6/09 - English

Tensions between Hamas and Fatah erupted once again in a deadly shootout in Qalqilya on Sunday. We pray that Palestinians can work through their internal divisions so that families already living under Israeli occupation need not fear yet another source of hardship and violence.

A UN inquiry team, led by Richard Goldstone (who headed UN tribunals in Yugoslavia and Rwanda), has arrived in Gaza to investigate Israeli war crimes committed in Israel’s three-week assault in December and January. Although Israel is refusing to cooperate with the investigation, we pray that the team’s findings will open the world’s eyes and set into motion events that will end the siege on Gaza.

This week marks the start of the World Council of Churches’ “World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel.” Worldwide, Christians will be praying, acting, and educating about the realities of living in “The Holy Land.” The Jerusalem Christian community will participate in an ecumenical peace service at St. Stephen’s Cathedral on Sunday that will be shared around the world. Lord, in your mercy, hear our cry for peace.

Last Friday, an ecumenical group of Sabeel young adults joined the community in Jifna (north of Ramallah) to repair and clean Christian cemeteries that were defaced by vandals. We are thankful that even destruction of holy spaces can result in stronger relationships between disparate Palestinian communities, denominations and individuals. 

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