Quakers, members of Pax Christi and members of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel joined in a vigil of readings, prayer and silence in central London today (5 June 2011) to mark the fifth year of the World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel - an initiative of the World Council of Churches.
During the vigil, flowers were laid in memory of peacemakers, living and dead, who have worked for a just peace in Israel-Palestine, including Juliano Mer-Khamis - the Israeli actor and peace activist who was murdered in Jenin in April 2011, Tom Hurndell, and groups such as Pax Christi partner the Arab Educational Institute, Women in Black and the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.
Those gathering also heard readings of Christian, Jewish and Muslim experiences of injustice and exclusion within the city of Jerusalem - Jerusalem being the theme of the 2011 Week. They shared a prayer, especially written for the day: "We long for Jerusalem to be a place where every child is known to be a child of God, and where, like Jesus, they may grow in wisdom and grace, and in the full knowledge of the God of Abraham".
A focal point for the gathering was an eight metre replica of the Separation Barrier which cuts into Palestinian land - separating families and preventing movement by Palestinians into Israel.