Sabeel Wave of Prayer
28th February 2019
On Friday evening, 22 February 2019, in excessive use of force against, mainly peaceful, protesters on the 48th Friday of the ‘Great March of Return’ and ‘Breaking the Siege’, Israeli forces killed a 15-year-old Palestinian teenager and wounded 115 civilians, including 16 children, 10 women and a journalist, in the eastern Gaza Strip. The injury of 3 of the wounded civilians, including a 12-year-old boy were reported as serious.
· Lord, we continue to pray for the safety of the Palestinian protesters and the commitment of many to non-violence. We pray that those who have been injured may soon recover and that grieving families may find solace. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayers.
On Friday, the 22nd of February, Palestinian worshippers opened the al-Rahma Gate at the eastern end of the Al Aqsa Mosque, which had been sealed off by the occupying Israeli authorities since 2003. In addition, Israeli authorities have banned top Islamic officials from entering the compound for one week.
· Lord, we pray for peace and order in the city of Jerusalem. We pray that the occupying Israeli authorities would respect the rights of all its residents to worship without obstruction at their holy sites. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayers.
Palestinians and internationals have gathered to mark the anniversary of the Ibrahimi Mosque/Cave of the Patriarchs Massacre, where Dr Baruch Goldstein entered the Mosque and killed 29 worshippers, injuring another 125, and to protest against Israel's expulsion of the international observer mission that was set up in the aftermath of the massacre. The demonstrations were relatively peaceful, but they highlight how divided, tense and militarised the city remains.
· Lord, we remember those who lost their lives in the Massacre. We pray for justice and peace in Hebron, and that those who volunteer to protect, document, and talk about injustice are free to carry out their work. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayers.
Thirty Palestinian pupils from an elementary school in the Old City of Hebron suffered tear gas suffocation when Israeli soldiers fired tear gas bombs around and inside their school. One pupil’s condition was so serious he had to be taken to hospital for treatment.
· Lord, we pray for the Palestinian residents of Hebron, particularly the children who are witnessing harassment and aggression on a day-to-day basis. We pray that these tear gas attacks from the Israeli military will cease as the harmful effects on health in the long term may be extremely serious. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayers.
Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian shepherds and prevented them from herding their flocks, in Tarami in the southern area of Hebron. Under the protection of Israeli occupying forces, the settlers repeatedly beat the shepherds.
· Lord, we pray for the Palestinians trying to care for their livestock and their land. We pray for an end to the settler attacks and for the complicit support of the Israeli authorities. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayers.
Israeli authorities released Palestinian prisoner, Abed al-Rahman Khalil Mahmoud, 38, from occupied East Jerusalem, after 17 years of imprisonment, on Sunday. On release he was banned, for unknown reasons, from entering Issawiya neighbourhood where his family live.
· Lord We pray for the successful reintegration of former prisoners like Abed into their families and societies, and that their freedom will release a collective wave of nonviolent struggle for justice in this land. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayers.
This week the Kumi Now initiative focuses on the Hebron based work of Youth Against Settlements, (YAS). This non-violent, direct action group, which was formed in 2008, helps to educate young Palestinians in how to use media and advocacy to resist the Israeli occupation of Hebron. There are two large settlements adjacent to Hebron, which are illegal under international law.
· Lord, we pray for the work of Youth Against Settlements as they try to help young Palestinians in Hebron cope with the harassment and oppression they face in their daily lives under the occupation. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayers.
· We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.