“. . . we will begin our prayers amid this bloody sorrow . . .” (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

❶ Islamic Cooperation to ask Security Council for protection for Aqsa Mosque

Background: “In Defense of Al-Aqsa: The Islamic Movement inside Israel and the Battle for Jerusalem.” Middle East Journal.

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Religious figures warn Israel against meddling in Aqsa affairs
❷ Israeli forces detain 21 Palestinians, PLC deputy, in overnight West Bank raids
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces raid Palestinian civil office in Hebron’s Old City
❸ Report: 96 Israeli violations against Palestinian journalists in July
❹ POETRY by Ibrahim Nasrallah
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISLAMIC  COOPERATION  TO  ASK  SECURITY  COUNCIL  FOR  PROTECTION  FOR  AQSA  MOSQUE  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
August 2, 2017.   The Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which met in Istanbul in an urgent meeting over the situation in Jerusalem and its Al-Aqsa Mosque, has decided to ask the United Nations Security Council to provide protection to the mosque from Israeli abuses, Foreign Minister Riyad Malki said on Wednesday.
___He told Voice of Palestine radio that the OIC went this time beyond the traditional verbal denunciation of Israel to adopting practical proposals that will be implemented soon.
___He said the OIC decided to call on the Security Council to provide protection for Al-Aqsa Mosque. It also called for providing financial support to strengthen the steadfastness of the Palestinians in Jerusalem and to boycott Israeli settlements products.   MORE . . .

Larkin, Craig and Michael Dumper.
“IN  DEFENSE  OF  AL-AQSA:  THE  ISLAMIC  MOVEMENT  INSIDE  ISRAEL  AND  THE  BATTLE  FOR  JERUSALEM.”
Middle East Journal
, vol. 66, no. 1, Winter2012, pp. 31-52.
[. . . .] This battle for the sacred is most famously played out on Jerusalem’s ancient fault line: the Jewish “Temple Mount” or the Muslim “Noble Sanctuary” [al-Haram al-Sharif], the site of the Western (Wailing) Wall and the only visible remainder of the second Jewish Temple and the al-Aqsa Mosque, the place of Muhammad’s legendary night journey to Heaven . . .  our interest is in its contemporary politicization as a dynamic symbol and site of Israeli-Zionist domination and Palestinian-Muslim resistance.
___Since Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967, the Western Wall (and Temple Mount) has become central to nationalist discourses of Yerushalayim — the “unified” “eternal” capital of a Jewish State — and integral as an iconic space for the performance of military ceremonies, political inaugurations, and national-religious festivals.
___For Palestinians, the Haram al-Sharif (al-Aqsa mosque) has similarly emerged as a sacred national emblem. It serves as the emotive scene for the violent outbreak of the second Palestinian uprising or “Al-Aqsa Intifada” in September 2000 and a potent symbol to mobilize local, regional, and global opposition against Israel’s “Judaization” policies in Arab East Jerusalem and ongoing occupation of Palestinian land.
[. . . .] The Islamic presence in Jerusalem was established in 638 CE and its early history in the city is well-documented. . . The city’s prominence in the genesis of Islam and its eschatology made the city also the site of religious schools, mausoleums of the rich, holy, and learned and thus also of pilgrimages, second only to the pilgrimage cities Mecca and Medina. One result of such a role was the evolution of an extensive system of external support in the form of the endowment (or Waqf) system which generated income for the upkeep of mosques and other communal services. The administration and maintenance of this system led in turn to the creation of an extensive bureaucracy, control over and employment in which was highly prized. While there were periods of decline and paralysis during this long and fruitful period, it is clear that on the eve of the 1967 War, the Muslim community in Jerusalem had deep roots, and a comprehensive and strong institutional presence.
[. . . .]  . . . Waqf assets, the sharia court system, religious education, and holy places have become battlegrounds and popular rallying points in the Islamist campaign to create “a parallel system of autonomous communal institutions.” This tactical shift can be traced back to the beginning of Shaykh Ra’id Salah’s “Al-Aqsa is in Danger” [Al-Aqsa fi Khatir] campaign in 1996, which refocused funds, volunteers, and media attention towards the contested Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount, challenging both Israeli control of the site and PA and Jordanian compliance.    SOURCE . . .

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) RELIGIOUS  FIGURES  WARN  ISRAEL  AGAINST  MEDDLING  IN  AQSA  AFFAIRS     
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA  
August 2, 2017.   Islamic figures in Jerusalem warned on Wednesday that Israel’s repeated intervention in al-Aqsa Mosque affairs could lead to grave consequences.     ___Head of Islamic Waqf Council, head of the Supreme Islamic Committee, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and acting Chief Islamic Justice said in a joint statement that Israeli police restrictions on entry of Muslim worshipers into Al-Aqsa Mosque constitute a blatant intervention in the right of worship.     ___Israeli meddling in Al-Aqsa affairs “will take us back to the crisis situation and could lead the entire region to unforeseen grave consequences” . . .     MORE . . .
❷ ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  21  PALESTINIANS,  PLC  DEPUTY,  IN  OVERNIGHT  WEST  BANK  RAIDS 
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 2, 2017.   Israeli forces detained at least 21 Palestinians, including a deputy of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), in overnight raids between Tuesday and Wednesday across the occupied West Bank, according to Palestinian and Israeli sources.
___Israeli raids in Palestinian towns, villages, and refugee camps are a daily occurrence in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, with a biweekly average of 95 search and detention raids carried out over the course of 2016, according to UN documentation.
___According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, as of May, there were 6,200 Palestinians being held in Israeli prisons, including 12 PLC members.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) ISRAELI  FORCES  RAID  PALESTINIAN  CIVIL  OFFICE  IN  HEBRON’S  OLD  CITY
Ma’an News Agency    
Aug. 2, 2017.   Israeli forces raided a civil investigations office in the Old City of Hebron in the southern occupied West Bank on Wednesday, detained the staff members, and confiscated equipment from the office.
___Local sources told Ma’an that the office was opened just a few days ago after an agreement was made between Palestinian and Israeli authorities to establish an office in order to deal with a “wave of increased violence” among locals, especially family disputes in the area which often turn violent.
[. . . .] Israeli forces have continued to hold a number of the employees, local sources said, while Palestinian authorities have been making calls to the Israeli side in order to secure the release of the employees and allow them to continue their work.   MORE . . .
❸ REPORT:  96  ISRAELI  VIOLATIONS  AGAINST  PALESTINIAN  JOURNALISTS  IN  JULY  
The Palestinian Information Center  
August 2, 2017.   The Committee to Support Palestinian Journalists issued a new report on Wednesday documenting Israeli violations against Palestinian journalists over the past month.
___The report said that 96 violations were committed by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) against Palestinian journalists, while PA forces committed 17 violations.
___The report noted that July 2017 has witnessed the biggest number of violations against Palestinian journalists and media institutions.   MORE . . .

“PRAYER,”  BY  IBRAHIM  NASRALLAH

Farah, we will begin our prayers
amid this bloody sorrow
and among the lonely pine.
What makes the mountains this morning much kinder,
the sun more glamorous,
the wind a song that celebrates the heights?
What makes our beloved jasmine
more pure than we imagined
and more disobedient than we had thought?
What makes these mountains
and these trees that we allowed to be taller than us
much shorter than us now?
Farah, we will continue our prayers
and conjure new seasons for our lives,
new rivers to flow in our veins
and a new place for the world’s singing.
We will continues our prayers
and when love is total,
when our fingers shyly and tenderly come together
like beads of the fig’s milk,
we will climb the mountain to bless all creatures
and together whisper: Amen . . . amen.

About Ibrahim Nasrallah
From Nasrallah, Ibrahim. RAIN INSIDE: SELECTED POEMS. Trans. Omnia Amin and Rick London. Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 2009. Available from Barnes and Noble.

 

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