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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 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  

ACT Palestine Forum: 24 March Prayers

March 24, 2017 –

Prayer Petitions: 24 March 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 Gaza for contributing to this month’s prayers.

ACT Palestine Forum Prayers

24 March 2017

 Prayer Focus: Health Updates and Health Care Access in Gaza

An estimated 1.1 million people in Gaza are in need of humanitarian health and nutrition interventions. The health system in Gaza is operating under severe pressure due to the effects of the occupation, blockade, internal Palestinian divide, rapid population growth, and lack of adequate financial resources and shortages in basic supplies. The years of blockade and movement restrictions on people and materials, including medical resources, has led to a serious deterioration in the availability and quality of health services. The population size will grow to 2.227 million in 2020 with very high fertility rates[1]. This would increase the constraints on the health care system.

Infant mortality rate which is a proxy indicator for the socioeconomic and health status shows an increase at 22.5 per 1000 live birth; a worrying increases that hasn’t been reported for decades[2].  Also, still birth and prematurity level are increasing[3].

Efforts should focus on improving the quality of reproductive health services and addressing gaps especially around the perinatal period when most neonatal and maternal mortalities and morbidities develop. There is a need to increase the number of available intensive care incubators. Also, the current shortage in specialized neonatologists, pediatric intensive care specialists and fine subspecialties such as pediatric oncology, endocrinology, pediatric cardiologists, pediatric cardiac surgeons and genetics require bridging to meet the current and future needs[4].

Health report from MOH and UNRWA also indicate an increase in the incidence of infectious diseases such as diarrhea, hepatitis and meningitis which are attributed to bad sanitation and inappropriate hygienic practices[5]. At the same time, non-communicable diseases are escalating and constituting the main causes of death among the population particularly heart diseases, oncology, vascular diseases and injuries.  This puts more strain on the already exhausted system[6].

More than half of the 11,000 MOH staff employed by the Gaza de facto authorities have not been paid in full for several years. The 2014 conflict added further strain to the health sector, the effects of which are still being felt. Handicap International has identified 2,090 people (1,411 males and 679 females) with injuries that require rehabilitation and 4,385 persons with disabilities (2,399 males 1,986 females) as particularly vulnerable[7].  The prevalence of congenital anomalies which are also associated with disability is at the increasing trend[8].

MOH, UNRWA and NGOs reported a dramatic increase in cases of psychological trauma especially among children who are in need of psychological support[9]. In Gaza, anemia rates are higher than in oPt as a whole.  For several years, more than one third of preschool children in Gaza are anemic, while more than 70% of pregnant women in Gaza are anemic[10].

Fuel shortage and prolonged electricity cuts has also impacted health facilities and medical equipment. Together with shortages of essential drugs, medical spare parts and disposables, this has increased the need for referral of patients outside of Gaza. The virtual closure of the Rafah border has however had a serious impact on referrals – only 148 out of 1,087 referred patients crossed during the first nine months of 2015[11]. Access to hospitals in Egypt can literally be a life and death issue for many Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, vital for those who cannot be treated within Gaza and who have been denied or are ineligible for access to Israeli or West Bank health facilities through Erez. Of the patients who applied for a permit to cross Erez, 50% were denied and 60% of families who accompany the referred patients were denied also.  This creates accessibility problem to health services that should be addressed by all parties.

Prayers

By your power, great God, Jesus healed the sick and gave new hope to the hopeless. Though we cannot command or possess your power, we pray for healing. Mend wounds, soothe fevered brows, and make broken people whole again.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Lord Christ, you came into the world as one of us and suffered as we do. As we go through the trials of life, help us to realize that you are with us at all times and that your loving grace enfolds us for eternity.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Loving God, your heart overflows with compassion for your whole creation. Pour out your Spirit on all people living with illness for which there is no cure, as well as their families and loved ones. Help them to know that you claim them as your own and deliver them from fear and pain.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Merciful God, your healing power is everywhere about us. Strengthen those who work among the sick; give them courage and confidence in all they do. Encourage them when their efforts seem futile or when death prevails. Increase their trust in your power even to overcome death and pain and crying. May they be thankful for every sign of health you give and humble before the mystery of your healing grace.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Almighty and merciful God, you are the only source of health and healing; you alone can bring calmness and peace. Grant to us, your children, an awareness of your presence and a strong confidence in you. In our pain, our weariness, and our anxiety, surround us with your care, protect us by your loving might, and permit us once more to enjoy health and strength and peace.

Through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

Prayers adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship.

[1] UNFPA (2016) Palestine 2030Demographic Transition in Palestine and What it Means for Development.

[2] Maartje, et al (2015) Increasing Neonatal Mortality among Palestine Refugees in the Gaza Strip

[3] MOH (2016), Mortality Report. MOH

[4]  See note one 1

[5] MOH (2015), Health status of the Palestinian population

[6] See note number 3

[7] OCHA (2016), Humanitarian Needs Overview

[8] UNFPA (2016) see note 1

[9] MOH (2015) see note 5

[10] MOH (2014), Strategic Health plan

[11] See note 7

Please find a printable PDF version of the prayers here: 24 March 2017 Prayer Vigil.

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