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Jerusalem will not be isolated

The Israeli attempt to isolate Jerusalem from its surroundings will never succeed

Mustafa Barghouti , Wednesday 29 Jun 2016
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He who witnessed the flowing human river of last Friday going to pray in Al-Aqsa Mosque and he who saw crowds of tens of thousands pouring from all over Palestine towards Jerusalem will realise definitely that the attempts to isolate Jerusalem from its surroundings is still and will remain a failure.

He who saw with us in the Al-Aqsa Mosque Hospital youngsters coming over to treat their wounds after they prayed – these wounds happened when they climbed or jumped over the walls following the occupation army blocking them from passing through to Jerusalem – will realise that the members of the new generations are clinging to Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa much more than fathers and grandfathers.

I will never forget this boy, who jumped over the Wall (which they call in America’s newspapers the Barrier) and broke his arm in two places, but he refused to go to the hospital, except after performing the prayer which he came for.

It is impossible to forget the looks of surprise and wonder we saw in the eyes of thousands of little girls when they saw Jerusalem for the first time.

Palestinian Christians suffer like their Muslim counterparts from deprivation of their most basic human needs: the right to pray and the right to freedom of movement.

Two million Palestinians from Gaza will not be able to see Jerusalem in the month of Ramadan because they live in a prison to which Israel firmly closed all its doors.

Despite all this, Israeli officials drawled about the facilities they granted to the Palestinians.

These facilities are like granting some of the detainees, not all, the opportunity to have a “flurry” from time to time.

These facilities are like stopping the torture for some hours against an entire people who are tortured during the past forty nine years of occupation every hour, every day, every month and every year. They expect after this to be thanked for their facilities.

Did those who repress us forget that some of their grandfathers were forced to live in ghettos and segregated enclaves and how they were dehumanised in the same countries on which they rely upon for their support today in enforcing racial discrimination against us?

I wondered while we were walking in Jerusalem’s streets whether the armed to the teeth soldiers, who are occupying all the crossroads and streets' bends and corners and covering every foot of Jerusalem’s streets and entrances with cameras, realise the profound meaning for this Palestinian human rush towards Jerusalem.

Do they understand the meaning of how an old woman, in her eighties coming from the farthest point in the north suffering from diabetes, low pressure blood and can hardly walk, insists upon visiting Jerusalem on Friday in Ramadan because it is the only day she can pass through?

Settlers guarded with bayonets and the armed to the teeth soldiers can storm Al-Aqsa Mosque from time to time. They can continue to expand their settlements which seem to be in eternal contradiction with the land upon which they are built over.

They cannot and will not loot Jerusalem from the hearts of Palestinians and they cannot stop this human river from flowing towards her.

For the Palestinian sees that reaching Jerusalem is an act of resistance and sees praying there an act of resistance.

He sees that passing through the Wall an act of resistance. He sees in all this a profound human passion towards freedom in its fullest sense.

A tribute to Jerusalem and all who are there and those are stationed there defending it.

A tribute to Jerusalem which will not be a captive and cannot be isolated.

The writer is Secretary-General of the Palestinian National Initiative.

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