Violence and tensions once again broke out in the continuously contested Gaza Strip, the Palestinian territory that has been governed by Hamas since 2007. On Friday 30 March, at least 17 Palestinians were killed by the Israeli military (and more than a thousand were reportedly wounded) after thousands of Palestinians marched to Gaza’s eastern border at the start of a planned six-week protest. According to Israeli officials, soldiers opened fire (and used tear gas) after violent rioting broke out among the protestors. The protests were set to take place ahead of the 70th anniversary of Israel’s founding (on 15 May 1948) and the subsequent expulsion of more than 750,000 Palestinians from their homes.
Various international leaders and groups condemned the extreme force of the Israeli military, especially Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who entered a ‘war of words’ with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Israel, however, argued that Hamas was using (and are planning to use) the protests to “camouflage terror” and to launch attacks on Israel, and that the army had fired on a group of protestors who had ignored the protest organisers’ calls to stay away from the frontier and were throwing petrol bombs and rocks.
As is often the case with unrest between Israel and Palestine: conflicting information is coming from both sides. Please join us as we pray for the region at this tense time (continuing into the coming weeks), and for the truth about the situation to be reported justly and fairly.
Let us pray:
1. Media reports about the situation about Gaza and Israel is very one-sided. International media normally only give one side of the story, and this creates more hate, violence and bitterness on both sides. Pray for more unbiased reporting on the situation in this conflict.
2. The issues around Gaza is so deep and complicated that bitterness and retaliation seems to be the only solutions. It is humanly impossible to bring peace. But for Jesus… that is the Prince of Peace.
3. Pray that the remaining weeks of the demonstrations will be without human loss and for progress in finding lasting solutions.
4. Pray for Christians in the region to be peacemakers and reconcilers.
Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the One who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.” (Max Lucado)
(Source: InContext, 4 April 2018)