“. . . Peace has two parents: Freedom and Justice. And occupation is the natural begetter of violence . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

❶ Islamic Waqf says decision not to enter Al-Aqsa through metal gates final
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israeli police injure dozens of worshipers denouncing security measures at Al-Aqsa
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Rally in Rabat [Morocco] in support of al-Aqsa
❷ Opinion/Analysis: Aqsa shooting attack: Security blow to Israeli occupation
❸ A letter from Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA      
July 18, 2017.   The Islamic Waqf (Endowment), which is in charge of Al-Aqsa Mosque, said Tuesday it was adamant about its decision not to encourage Muslim worshippers to enter the holy compound passing through the newly installed metal detectors.
___General Director of the Jordanian-run Islamic Waqf, Azzam Khatib, said during a sit-in for Waqf officials and staff outside Bab al-Majlis (Al-Nather), one of the gates to Al-Aqsa compound, that Muslim worshipers should not accept the new Israeli police measures for entering the Muslim holy place.
___Police installed on Sunday metal detectors outside two gates to Al-Aqsa Mosque and prevented worshippers from entering the mosque without going through them. Muslims have rejected the Israeli measures and have been holding the daily prayer ritual outside the gates causing tension with the police that often end up with clashes.     MORE . . .    
Ma’an News Agency  
July 18, 2017.  Dozens of Palestinians were injured on Monday evening when Israeli forces violently dispersed Muslim worshipers who were performing the night-time Isha prayer in the streets outside of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound to express their opposition to increased Israeli security measures at the holy site following a deadly attack in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
[. . . . ] The Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance service told Ma’an that its paramedics had treated more than 50 people who were injured by Israeli forces at Lions’ Gate.
___The Red Crescent said 16 Palestinians were hit with rubber-coated steel bullets, nine were wounded by shrapnel from stun grenades, and 25 sustained bruises after being beaten and kicked by Israeli forces.         MORE . . .   
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) RALLY  IN  RABAT  [MOROCCO]  IN  SUPPORT  OF  AL-AQSA    
The Palestinian Information Center   
July 18, 2017.   Hundreds took part in a large demonstration held on Monday in the streets of the Moroccan capital in support of al-Aqsa Mosque and in protest against Israeli unprecedented restrictions against the third holiest site in Islam.
___The protesters chanted slogans calling for an end to “Israeli attacks on al-Aqsa and Israeli settlement expansion.”
___They also demanded a ban to all forms of normalization with Israel.     MORE . . .      

The Palestinian Information Center 
July 15, 2017.   With the Friday morning breeze, one hour after the dawn prayer at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Occupied Jerusalem, and as Muslim worshipers were reading the Quran, Palestinians were surprised by three young men carrying out a shooting attack at the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque.
[. . . .] Hamza Abu Shanab, an expert on Israeli affairs and a political analyst explained that the operation in Jerusalem constituted a qualitative shift in the resistance attacks, in terms of timing and place of implementation, noting that it emphasized the unity of the land and the Palestinian people geographically and in all places of existence.
___Abu Shanab said that the timing of the operation and its location dealt a security blow to the Israeli security apparatuses and army, especially in light of the procedures taken against Muslim worshipers at Al-Aqsa Mosque.       MORE . . . 

The Electronic Intifada
17 July 2017

  • The renowned Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish was the first writer that the Palestine Festival of Literature approached with a request to be a Founding Patron. He accepted. He was due to speak at PalFest’s inaugural event in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah in May 2008 but medical reasons prevented him from attending. He sent a letter instead. Darwish passed away three months later in August.     [. . . .] Darwish’s letter appears online here for the first time.

[. . . .]   We are now in the 60th year of the Nakba. There are now those who are dancing on the graves of our dead, and who consider our Nakba their festival. But the Nakba is not a memory; it is an ongoing uprooting, filling Palestinians with dread for their very existence. The Nakba continues because the occupation continues. And the continued occupation means a continued war. This war that Israel wages against us is not a war to defend its existence, but a war to obliterate ours.
___The conflict is not between two “existences,” as the Israeli discourse claims. The Arabs have unanimously offered Israel a collective peace proposal in return for Israel’s recognition of the Palestinians’ right to an independent state. But Israel refuses.
[. . . .]  Life here, as you see, is not a given, it’s a daily miracle. Military barriers separate everything from everything. And everything – even the landscape – is temporary and vulnerable. Life here is less than life, it is an approaching death. And how ironic that the stepping up of oppression, of closures, of settlement expansion, of daily killings that have become routine – that all this takes place in the context of what is called the “peace process;” a process revolving in an empty circle, threatening to kill the very idea of peace in our suffering hearts.
___Peace has two parents: Freedom and Justice. And occupation is the natural begetter of violence. Here, on this slice of historic Palestine, two generations of Palestinians have been born and raised under occupation. They have never known another – normal – life. Their memories are filled with images of hell. They see their tomorrows slipping out of their reach. And though it seems to them that everything outside this reality is heaven, yet they do not want to go to that heaven. They stay, because they are afflicted with hope.    THE LETTER IN FULL . . . 

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