Wave of prayer

Excerpts from this week’s Wave of Prayer from Sabeel in Jerusalem …

On Wednesday, the 11th of August, the Defence Minister, Benny Gantz, approved the construction of 863 Palestinian homes in Israeli controlled Area C, mostly in Jenin and Bethlehem. At the same time the Israeli Civil Administration agreed to the construction of more than 2200 new homes for illegal Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank.

• Lord, we pray for a halt to the rapid expansion of illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories. We are saddened that our legal rights for building permits is linked to illegal settlement building on our lands.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

Since the beginning of the year the Israeli authorities have raided and destroyed eleven printing presses, media offices and bookstores belonging to Palestinians. In May four bookstores and four printing presses were destroyed in Gaza. In Ramallah, the Bisan printing press has been ordered to close for six months, while other presses were destroyed in Bethlehem and Izzariyeh.

• Lord, we pray that all attempts to stifle the freedom of expression of Palestinians will be frustrated.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

A Jerusalem court issued a ruling on Wednesday, the 11th of August, that the demolition orders on hundreds of Palestinian homes in the Silwan neighbourhood of occupied East Jerusalem should be frozen until February 2022. However the demolition of sixteen Palestinian homes was ordered immediately. Israeli authorities claim the homes have been built without permits. The permits are rarely granted to Palestinians and the Israeli authorities plan to move illegal Israeli settlers into the area under heavily armed protection and allow the creation of a public park devoted to King David.

• Lord, we pray for the Palestinian families in Silwan who now have to demolish their own homes to avoid extreme demolition charges from the Israeli authorities. We pray that international organisations will challenge the Israeli government over their policies of home demolitions and the denial of building permits to Palestinians.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

On Saturday, the 7th of August, Adalah,(The Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights), wrote to the Israeli Attorney General to seek urgent clarification over recent measures taken by Israeli municipalities to block access to Palestinians to open spaces under the guise of Covid 19 protection. The municipalities of Acre, Netanya and Hadera took measures to prevent Palestinians from visiting beaches and parks, whether or not they had valid permits or had been vaccinated.

• Lord, we pray that the Israeli authorities will draw back from introducing apartheid measures in their communities. We pray that any further unauthorised prohibition of movement on racist grounds will be stopped. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

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