Thursday, July 16, 2009

16/7/09 - English

It has been half a year since Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip and the siege of 1.5 million people continues. We pray that construction supplies, medicine, fuel, and other goods necessary for life will be allowed to flow into Gaza. While attempting to deprive Gazans of their dignity, Israel has lost its own.

Five years ago this month, the International Court of Justice released its Advisory Opinion on the “Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territories”. This opinion detailed the court’s findings that the Wall violated Israel’s obligations under international law, that the Wall should be removed, and that Israel ought to lift its travel restrictions on Palestinians. Today, construction of the Wall continues and Israel’s restrictions on Palestinians have only intensified. We pray that Israel will stop treating international law with such disdain.

Because of Israel’s conduct during January’s attack of Gaza, the United Kingdom has revoked five export licenses for military equipment intended for the Israeli navy. Compared to the entirety of Israel’s arms agreements, these five licenses are miniscule, but they do represent the establishment of an important precedent. We praise God for this small but meaningful step toward international accountability for Israel’s war crimes.

On Friday, Sabeel will bring people from Nazareth and Jerusalem to see the challenges facing Palestinian citizens of Israel who live in Akko and Shefa-‘Amr. In these (and other) Arab-majority cities within Israel, the state of Israel practices systematic discrimination through land dispossession and unequal distribution of resources. We pray that the frequently overlooked population of Palestinian citizens of Israel will soon experience justice that “rolls on like a mighty river.”

This week we join with the World Council of Churches in praying for:
Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Panama

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