On the eve of Friday’s ceasefire in the Holy Land (21 May), SAT-7 ARABIC’s programme You are Not Alone dedicated a special episode to those living in what the UN Secretary General described as “hell on earth” and asked viewers for their support in prayer.
“When a rock hits a house, we run to help the survivors and the injured. Our morale is very low, but we will be strong. We love life and want to live,” shared Ammar Kaskeen (right), a local resident who was trying to help survivors, on the programme.
The 11 days between 11-21 May saw escalations of violence in the Holy Land not seen since 2014.
“Forty percent of the injured are women and children,” shared Dr Mohammed Abu Mughaiseeb (left), Deputy Medical Coordinator of Doctors Without Borders in Gaza, speaking to host Sirene Semerdjian.
“We face difficulties moving about because of the persistent missile strikes. One hit the streets next to our clinic, causing partial damage. We donated the medical supplies we had in storage to hospitals, and our team outside of Gaza are trying to provide us with more.”
Gaza is a small territory of 365 km2 with no airport, seaport, or way in or out for most of its two million inhabitants. So when such hostilities begin there is nowhere for the innocent to run to, no place to hide. Since the escalation of hostilities began, SAT-7 ARABIC has been broadcasting prayers and hearing from viewers across the Arabic-speaking world.
“I pray at this time, Lord, that you will give consolation, grace, and mercy. Lord, You can stop this violence. You are capable of everything and there’s nothing that You can’t do. Our trust in You, Lord, is great. You can do that in Jesus’ Name,” prayed Pastor Jack Sara, President of Bethlehem Bible College and Pastor of the Alliance Church in the Holy Land.
Counting the cost
According to the health ministry in Gaza, at least 248 people, including 100 women and children, were killed in the 11-day conflict. Israel’s medical service said that 12 people, including 2 children, had died. The UN reported that over 70,000 people in Gaza are displaced and 8,000 have had their homes completely destroyed. Health services, already depleted by severe shortages of medicines and manpower and burdened by the spread of Covid-19, face an overwhelming challenge.
“As the violence stops, families are once again counting the cost – in lives, in livelihoods, and homes,” shared SAT-7 CEO Rita El-Mounayer.
“There are young people looking at the destruction around them, in mourning, angry and frightened. This is when they are at their most vulnerable – when their fear and anger is nurtured into hatred of the other community. This is why youth programmes are critical in this region.
“These young people need to know Christian values of love, hope, and reconciliation and to trust that the Holy Spirit can bring them peace and help them to make a choice to love, not to hate as they grow and become the leaders of their communities.”
In Israel, too, deep divisions came to the surface in serious intercommunal violence.
Please continue to pray for all who have lost loved ones and homes. Ask for God’s healing for those traumatised by their experiences, and for medical staff working to treat the injured. Pray for the witness and unity of believers in Christ in this divided Holy Land.