January 24, 2017 –
ACT Palestine Forum Prayers
24 January 2017
“Stop home demolitions and forcible transfer of communities as a new beginning for 2017”
The ACT Palestine prayers for 24th of January – 23rd of February are written to focus on demolitions, displacement and forcible transfer in East Jerusalem and Area C of the West Bank.
2016 was a tragic record year when it comes to demolitions of homes, latrines, solar panels and water cisterns in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The UN never before counted as many demolitions by the Israeli military – taking place in direct violation of the basic principles of international humanitarian law.
2017 so far brings no hope. The year started with the same intense demolition pace. Of the nearly 100 demolitions and confiscations that have already taken place in 2017, only about half were provided humanitarian aid to alleviate their suffering. This leaves dozens of families with no homes, shelter, water and electricity in a very cold winter and increases the risk of forcible transfer. It is jeopardizing the very existence of these communities.
Our commitment is to stand up for and with these communities – find ways to stop such basic violation of rights against fellow humans and try to live in peace no matter what religion people belong to.
We call for justice and peace.
We remember the Palestinians who have lost their homes, water cisterns, solar panels, and other infrastructure to unjust demolition orders. We ask for the courage to name these injustices and the steadfastness to pursue their end. As the number of demolitions continues to increase, move us to action, both immediate and long-term. Help us to support our Palestinian brothers and sisters by speaking out and standing up to the evils of the occupation. Strengthen us to defend those whose homes and lands are being confiscated and sustain us in the pursuit of justice.
In Jesus’ name,
“Lord, Whose Love In Humble Service”
Lord, whose love in humble service
bore the weight of human need,
who upon the cross, forsaken,
worked your mercy’s perfect deed;
we, your servants, bring the worship
not of voice alone, but heart,
consecrating to your purpose
every gift which you impart.
Still your children wander homeless,
still the hungry cry for bread.
Still the captives long for freedom,
still in grief we mourn our dead.
As you, Lord, in deep compassion,
healed the sick and freed the soul,
by your Spirit send your power
to our world to make it whole.
As we worship, grant us vision,
till your love’s revealing light
in its height and depth and greatness
dawns upon our quickened sight,
making known the needs and burdens
your compassion bids us bear,
stirring us to ardent service,
your abundant life to share.
Action to take:
- Call on your government to denounce the continued demolitions across Area C and in East Jerusalem and take action to protect communities from forcible transfer.
- Call on the European Union and its member states to start claiming financial compensation from Israel for destroyed and confiscated aid.
More information about demolitions:
- Video showing the demolition of a water cistern donated by DanChurchAid to a community in Area C: https://www.danchurchaid.org/news/news/danish-and-eu-funded-humanitarian-aid-again-destroyed-by-the-israeli-military
- Follow the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem’s expulsion blog for un-going updates and calls for action: http://www.btselem.org/facing_expulsion_blog
- Read about the wave of demolitions marking the beginning of 2017: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.763331?v=ACF98C77A8376E0F9D355805FB20441D
- The UN status of demolitions in 2016: http://www.ochaopt.org/content/record-number-demolitions-2016-casualty-toll-declines
- The UN condemning destruction and confiscation of aid: http://www.ochaopt.org/content/un-coordinator-aid-palestine-condemns-continued-obstruction-relief-items-palestinian
- The UN warning about the risk of forcible transfer of Bedouin communities: http://www.ochaopt.org/content/un-s-humanitarian-coordinator-palestine-warns-heightened-risk-forcible-transfers-bedouins