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Welcome to the ACT Palestine Forum (APF). Our objective is to increase the effectiveness and impact of the humanitarian assistance and development work being undertaken by members through improved coordination. One of the projects of the APF is to conduct joint advocacy on behalf of the members of the forum.

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Our appeal projects focus on organizing much-needed relief and care for the Palestinian people affected by war. See the current appeal »

Join a prayer vigil

A prayer vigil sponsored by the ACT Palestine Forum and devoted to peace in the Middle East is held on the 24th of every month.  Please join the vigil.  Click here to find out if others near you are already participating or to start up a group. 

An overarching goal of the ACT Palestine Forum is to contribute to a global discourse on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We call on the global Christian communities and Churches to engage in this discourse and to act to help end the occupation. APF encourages positive actions from the global Christian communities to influence decision-makers and prompt actions that contribute to ending Israeli occupation and all its violations of International Law.

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Palestinian man pouring water for sheeps from a water cistern reconstructed during a joint DCA and YMCA project assisting the vulnerable communities in Area C in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The Lutheran World Federation’s Augusta Victoria Hospital operates a Mobile Mammography Unit which strives to identify women with breast cancer at an early stage so they may be referred to AVH for treatment with better outcomes. Photo by M. Brown
A pediatric dialysis patient at the Lutheran World Federation’s Augusta Victoria Hospital proudly displays the coloring she has done as part of the psycho-social care facilitated for children in the hospital’s Specialized Child Care Center. Photo by K.Brown
A trainee at the Lutheran World Federation’s Vocational Training Program concentrates on his instructor’s advice for learning the important skill of drafting. Photo by K. Brown
Students in the East Jerusalem village of Bethany proudly receive school supplies distributed by the Lutheran World Federation. Photo by B. Moyer
As part of its commitment to protect the rights of those most marginalized, the LWF promotes access to educational loans and grants awarded to Palestinian youth, such as Dr. Maysa’a Sea’fan, who received a scholarship to study medicine at Al-Quds University and has become one of three female obstetricians/gynecologists serving in Hebron. Photo by B. Moyer

APF News

ACT Palestine Forum: 24 May Prayers

May 24, 2017 –

Prayer Petitions: 24 May 2017 ACT PALESTINE FORUM PRAYER VIGIL FOR PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST 24TH of every month Every day in the month ahead, we continue to pray with and for our sisters and brothers in Palestine and Israel who have called for an ecumenical prayer vigil across the globe on the 24th of every month. APF encourages its friends and partners to visit the APF website and APF Facebook page often to find, and also contribute, updates, photos, stories, advocacy ideas, and special prayers.

A special thanks to DSPR-NECC for contributing to this month’s prayers.


ACT Palestine Forum Prayers

24 May 2017

 Prayer Focus: Gaza Blockade

Since October 2000, the Gaza Strip has been subjected to a continuous but fluctuating blockade. The blockade was reinforced and enhanced to unprecedented levels in the 2-3 years that followed the Hamas takeover of Gaza in 2006/2007. The blockade entailed both the movement of goods and individuals.

In 2016, the volume of goods entering Gaza was at the same level as 2007, falling short of meeting the demands of the increasing population. The volume of goods exported was just 20% the amount exported in 2007. The restrictions on exports increase the vulnerability of Gaza’s economy by weakening its production base. After the war of 2014, restrictions were imposed on the entry of construction materials needed for the reconstruction of the intensive damages encountered by private and public assets in Gaza. Such restrictions slow the recovery process and extend the suffering of thousands of families who lost their houses during the war.

The number of Palestinians leaving Gaza via Israel on daily basis (460 people) is only 2% the figure in September 2000 (OCHA, 2016). The blockade targets the population of the Gaza Strip without exceptions. A significant percentage, more than 35%, of patients applying for permits for medical reasons were denied access. Humanitarian actors, especially the Palestinian staff, are increasingly being denied access out of Gaza through Israel (OCHA 2016).

Israel is still prohibiting Palestinian farmers from reaching their lands that are within 300 meters from the Israel/Gaza borders, making farmers poorer and depriving Gaza from cultivating significant parts of its arable lands, essential for its food security. Similarly, fishermen are only allowed to fish within 6 nautical miles from Gaza’s shore, which is less than one third of the fishing area established in the Oslo Accords.

These numerous restrictions have resulted in making the unemployment rates rise to above 40% and the poverty reached around 40% (PCBS 2016). About 47% of the population in Gaza Strip suffers severe food insecurity. And, more than 70% of the population depends differentially on aid (OCHA 2016).

OCHA. November 2016. The Gaza Strip: The Humanitarian Impacts of the Blockade. United Nations Office for the Coordination of the Humanitarian Affairs. https://www.ochaopt.org/content/gaza-strip-humanitarian-impact-blockade-november-2016.

PCBS. Palestine in Figures 2015. Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. http://www.pcbs.gov.ps/Downloads/book2188.pdf

Prayers

Prayer for Peace

Almighty God and Creator, You are the Father of all people on the earth. Guide, I pray, all the nations and their leaders in the ways of justice and peace. Protect us from the evils of injustice, prejudice, exploitation, conflict, and war. Help us to put away mistrust, bitterness, and hatred. Teach us to cease the storing and using of implements of war. Lead us to find peace, respect, and freedom. Unite us in the making and sharing of tools of peace against ignorance, poverty, disease, and oppression. Grant that we may grow in harmony and friendship as brothers and sisters created in Your image, to Your honor and praise.

Amen.

Special Ecumenical Prayer on 5 June 2017

The World Council of Churches (WCC) is calling on Christians worldwide to join in prayer for just peace in the Holy Land by taking part in a Pentecost prayer service. The WCC has developed a service for the “The Global Day of Prayer for Just Peace in the Holy Land” to be used by churches and communities of faith all over the globe on 5 June 2017.

 

The Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, stated “To pray for unity is our calling as an ecumenical family. To pray for peace in the Hold Land, and particularly in Jerusalem at this time, is an affirmation of our commitment to the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace and our long history of engagement for justice and peace in Palestine and Israel. We support the member churches in the region in their witness and ministry, and we encourage member churches around the world to act in prayer and solidarity for peace with justice in Palestine and Israel.”

 

More information and resources for this service can be found here:

 http://www.oikoumene.org/en/press-centre/news/wcc-calls-for-prayer-for-just-peace-in-the-holy-land

 

 A printable PDF version of the prayers can be found here.

 

ACT Palestine Forum: 24 April Prayers

April 25, 2017 –

Prayer Petitions: 24 April 2017 ACT PALESTINE FORUM PRAYER VIGIL FOR PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST 24TH of every month

Every day in the month ahead, we continue to pray with and for our sisters and brothers in Palestine and Israel who have called for an ecumenical prayer vigil across the globe on the 24th of every month. APF encourages its friends and partners to visit the APF website and APF Facebook page often to find, and also contribute, updates, photos, stories, advocacy ideas, and special prayers.
 

ACT Palestine Forum Prayers

24 April 2017

 Prayer Focus: Illegality of the Occupation

On 6 May 2004, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 58/292 which “affirms that the status of the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, remains one of military occupation, and affirms, in accordance with the rules and principles of international law and relevant resolutions of the United Nations, including Security Council resolutions, that the Palestinian people have the right to self-determination and to sovereignty over their territory…” The Resolution also “expresses its determination to contribute to the achievement of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the attainment of a just and comprehensive negotiated peace settlement in the Middle East resulting in two viable, sovereign and independent States, Israel and Palestine, based on the pre-1967 borders and living side by side in peace and security.” According to ACT Alliance member, Diakonia, “the practices of the Occupying Power, Israel, raise serious concerns under international law, not only under IHL (International Humanitarian Law) and IHRL (International Human Rights Law), due to the erosion of the basic protections and practices of acquisition and annexation of territory, in clear contravention of the central notions of modern public international law.” Since the adoption of this resolution in 2004, tension and violence have remained present, human rights have continued to be violated, and hope in a just and timely end to the occupation has waned. This month, we pray for the upholding of international law in Palestine and Israel and for all those who suffer under the ongoing illegal occupation. Read the resolution here. Read more about the work of Diakonia here.

Prayers

Gracious God, grant peace. Cleanse from our own hearts the seeds of strife; greed and envy, harsh misunderstandings and ill will, fear and desire for revenge. Make us quick to welcome ventures in cooperation among the peoples of the world, so that there may be woven the fabric of a common good too strong to be torn by the evil hands of war. In the time of opportunity, make us be diligent; and in the time of peril, let not our courage fail. Lord, in your mercy; hear our prayer. Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may move every human heart; that the barriers dividing us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; and that, with our divisions healed, we might live in justice and peace. Lord, in your mercy; hear our prayer. Look with mercy, gracious God, upon people everywhere who live with injustice, terror, disease, and death as their constant companions. Rouse us from our complacency and help us to elmiate cruelty wherever it is found. Strengthen those who seek equality for all. Grant that everyone may enjoy a fair portion of the abundance of the earth. Lord, in your mercy; hear our prayer. O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son. Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred that infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and, through our struggle and confusion, work to accomplish your purposes on earth. We pray all of this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Prayers adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship.  

Additional Meditation

Canticle of the Turning

Text: Rory Cooney, based on the Magnificat

Music: Irish Traditional

My soul cries out with a joyful shout that the God of my heart is great,

And my spirit sings of the wondrous things that you bring to the ones who wait.

You fixed your sight on your servant’s plight, and my weakness you did not spurn,

So from east west shall my name be blest.

Could the world be about to turn?

My heart shall sing of the day you bring. Let the fires of your justice burn.

Wipe away all tears, for the dawn draws near, and the world is about to turn.

From the halls of power to the fortress tower, not a stone will be left on stone.

Let the king beware for your justice tears every tyrant from his throne.

The hungry poor shall weep no more, for the food they can never earn;

There are tables spread, every mouth be fed,

For the world is about to turn.

My heart shall sing of the day you bring. Let the fires of your justice burn.

Wipe away all tears, for the dawn draws near, and the world is about to turn.

Though the nations rage from age to age, we remember who holds us fast:

God’s mercy must deliver us from the conqueror’s crushing grasp.

This saving word that our forebears heard is the promise which holds us bound,

Till the spear and rod can be crushed by God,

Who is turning the world around.

My heart shall sing of the day you bring. Let the fires of your justice burn.

Wipe away all tears, for the dawn draws near, and the world is about to turn.

24 Apr 2017 Prayer Vigil  

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