fbpx
Home حماية Palestinian women guarding Al-Aqsa, according to Murabitat

Palestinian women guarding Al-Aqsa, according to Murabitat

Despite many orders to cease operations, Murabitat is steadfast in its commitment to protecting Al-Aqsa from Israeli intrusions.

by gazapress
0 comment

Despite many orders to cease operations, Murabitat is steadfast in its commitment to protecting Al-Aqsa from Israeli intrusions.

East Jerusalem under occupation – The Al-Aqsa Mosque complex’s gates are reverberating with cries of “Allahu Akbar! [God is greatest!]” One voice pierces through the Old City of Jerusalem’s Muslim Quarter’s narrow, cobblestone lanes and centuries-old stone dwellings farther than the others.

Nafisa Khwais, 64, a Palestinian grandmother turned activist who lives on the Mount of Olives, just east of the Old City walls, speaks from her never-wearying throat. “People always ask me where my voice comes from,” Khwais says to Al Jazeera. The Dome of the Rock is imprinted across the tote bag hanging from her shoulder, along with her wallet and key chain. “It’s a result of my devotion to Al-Aqsa. It’s a love that transcends my physical limitations in size and strength.

Khwais is one of the hundreds of women who make up the Murabitat, a group dedicated to defending Al-Aqsa from right-wing Israeli raids that they think are intended to eventually seize full control of the compound. The majority of the Murabitat have been subject to reoccurring restraining orders that prevent them from entering one of Islam’s holiest sites since Israel banned them in 2015, calling them “a major cause of tension and violence.”

Jewish settlers have been coming to the area more and more frequently as more Murabitat have been expelled. The Palestinian ladies are currently in a confrontational position with Israeli forces and Jewish ultranationalists outside the gates of Haram al-Sharif, also known as the “Noble Sanctuary,” while chanting protest songs.

Israeli authorities have regularly attacked the holy complex this year when Ramadan and the Jewish festival of Passover coincided. Videos of these raids show police hitting Palestinian worshippers inside Al-Aqsa Mosque with clubs and firearms. Rubber bullets have hurt a lot of Palestinians, and hundreds have been detained.

In retaliation, Palestinian organizations launched missiles at Israel from southern Lebanon and Gaza. Israel has since launched airstrikes against Lebanon and the besieged Palestinian territories.

Additionally, Israel imposed a Passover-only lockdown on the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, prohibiting many Palestinian Muslims from praying at Al-Aqsa during Ramadan. Khwais claims that as a result, she must maintain a state of heightened alert during the holy month.

Al-Aqsa is in jeopardy, claims Khwais. “The Dome of the Rock is in front of me when I open the window in my house. I have heard the call to prayer ever since I was a young child. It was a natural part of my childhood. I’ll risk my life to make sure of it

In retaliation, Palestinian organizations launched missiles at Israel from southern Lebanon and Gaza. Israel has since launched airstrikes against Lebanon and the besieged Palestinian territories.

Additionally, Israel imposed a Passover-only lockdown on the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, prohibiting many Palestinian Muslims from praying at Al-Aqsa during Ramadan. Khwais claims that as a result, she must maintain a state of heightened alert during the holy month.

Al-Aqsa is in jeopardy, claims Khwais. “The Dome of the Rock is in front of me when I open the window in my house. I have heard the call to prayer ever since I was a young child. It was a natural part of my childhood. I’ll risk my life to make sure of it

In retaliation, Palestinian organizations launched missiles at Israel from southern Lebanon and Gaza. Israel has since launched airstrikes against Lebanon and the besieged Palestinian territories.

Additionally, Israel imposed a Passover-only lockdown on the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, prohibiting many Palestinian Muslims from praying at Al-Aqsa during Ramadan. Khwais claims that as a result, she must maintain a state of heightened alert during the holy month.

Al-Aqsa is in jeopardy, claims Khwais. “The Dome of the Rock is in front of me when I open the window in my house. I have heard the call to prayer ever since I was a young child. It was a natural part of my childhood. I’ll risk my life to make sure of it is shielded.”

Far-right organizations advocating for the demolition of the landmark Dome of the Rock and the construction of a third Jewish temple in its place are gaining political traction in Israel, where they were previously restricted to the far-right margins of Israeli society. The Murabitat regard the protection of the precious location as part of their sacred and religious obligation.

“We shed our blood and give up our souls for Al-Aqsa!” A group of Israeli policemen patrolling outside the compound’s gates is outfitted with machine guns, and Khwais roars in their direction. Israeli flags fly from flat structures up the street where Jewish settlers have taken the place of the Palestinian residents who were forcibly removed.

Khwais declares forcefully, “I don’t care about these soldiers. “To me, they are merely young children. Their source of strength is the gun, whereas my source of power is God.

Khwais declares forcefully, “I don’t care about these soldiers. “To me, they are merely young children. Their source of strength is the gun, whereas my source of power is God.

Rise to the Mount

Both Muslims and Jews consider the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, also known as al-Haram al-Sharif or the Temple Mount, to be sacred.

Since 1924, Jordan has served as the recognized steward of the Christian and Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem. Non-Muslims are permitted to visit the Al-Aqsa compound, but they are not permitted to worship or pray there. Israel acknowledged this status quo agreement after the Third Arab-Israeli War when Israel captured the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan in 1967.

The agreement was not controversial at the time. Jewish religious officials strictly forbade Jews from entering the compound for hundreds of years on the grounds that they would unintentionally taint the sacred space. These restrictions were generally accepted by Israel’s Jewish population up until recently.

This began to alter during the Oslo peace discussions in the 1990s, claims Mordechai Inbari, a professor of theology at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

A committee of settler rabbis issued a ruling urging all rabbis who held the ludicrously extreme opinion that it was acceptable for Jews to enter the Temple Mount to “ascend the Mount themselves, and to guide their congregants in ascending the Mount” out of concern that the Israeli government may at some point transfer sovereignty of Al-Aqsa to the recently established Palestinian Authority.

In order to establish facts on the ground that would make it more difficult for Palestinians to ever acquire control over the site, they encouraged large numbers of Jews to enter Al-Aqsa for prayer. This was done for political reasons, according to Inbari, who spoke to Al Jazeera.

Since then, a tiny group of people from Israel’s so-called “national-religious” side who are frequently referred to as “Temple Mount activists” have been leading this initiative, which has had great success.

Jews have visited the area more and more frequently throughout the years as right-wing Israeli Jews challenge the status quo more and more frequently. In the previous year, the number of visitors to the sacred complex reached a record high of nearly 50,000 devout Zionists.

According to a survey conducted last year, exactly half of the Jewish Israeli respondents are in favor of allowing Jews to pray on the Temple Mount, or Al-Aqsa, with the majority stating that this is more for political than religious reasons.

Itamar Ben-Gvir, the ardent proponent of Jews praying at Al-Aqsa, made a provocative journey to the complex at the beginning of the year as a member of Israel’s newly established government, which is regarded as the most right-wing in the nation’s history. It was one of the most well-known visits by an Israeli politician since the second Intifada was started in 2000 by then-opposition leader Ariel Sharon.

However, according to proponents of the Temple Mount, this discursive approach, which has been successful in winning over support for Jewish worship at Al-Aqsa, is a component of a bigger scheme to eventually destroy the Dome of the Rock and erect a third temple in its stead.

Temple Mount activists hope that as Jewish presence and worship at the holy site become more commonplace, the idea of constructing the third temple will likewise come to be accepted by the majority of Israeli society in the future. This process is similar to that which transformed Jewish worship at Al-Aqsa from a fringe religious position to one that is supported by half of Jewish Israelis.

According to Aida Sidawi, protecting Al-Aqsa is a moral obligation. (Jaclynn Ashly/Al Jazeera)

They’ll obliterate it,

Murabitat wants to make sure that this is not accepted without opposition.

According to Aida Sidawi, a 60-year-old Murabita, Israel frequently claims that the group – along with the Murabitun, the movement’s male counterpart – was founded by the illegal Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, but in reality, it is totally decentralized and arose naturally to defend the holy site.

Its name is derived from the Islamic concept of ribat, which is outlined in the Quran and refers to the act of remaining at the Muslim frontiers and waiting between prayers to defend against potential attacks. “The ribat has been at Al-Aqsa since its establishment,” Sidawi says, leaning against a stone wall near her home in the Old City, which is just a few minutes walk from Al-Aqsa. “But the ribat has been there

It’s a religious obligation, she continues. “Everyone has an innate sense of what to do in the event of an Israeli incursion on Al-Aqsa. There will be thousands of them. No phone calls or planning are made. Even those who do not practice religion will come here to support it.

Sidawi spends her days reading local news and WhatsApp groups while alternating with other women on patrols outside the compound’s gates. However, she acknowledges that the sacred movement’s activities are restricted, especially given that the majority have now been expelled from the location.

Because of the injustice we are experiencing, Sidawi claims that all that can be done is rush the [Israeli] soldiers posted outside Al-Aqsa and shout “Allahu Akbar.” However, God is bigger and more powerful than everything in the universe. God is supreme over all. And this makes the Israelis nervous because, deep down, they are aware that this territory is not theirs. Otherwise, why would they require so many police and security personnel to come and keep them safe?

According to Sidawi, the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre in the city of Hebron in the Occupied West Bank in 1994 changed the ribat from an unspoken religious obligation into a foundational practice at Al-Aqsa. During Ramadan, Baruch Goldstein, a US-born Jewish settler and member of the extreme right Kach organization, entered the mosque and started shooting at Palestinian worshippers who weren’t expecting it. The massacre left 29 people dead and more than 100 people injured.

The institute was established in 1984 by Israel Ariel, who was also a supporter of Kach, a group that Israel outlawed after its members expressed support for the mass shooting at the Ibrahimi Mosque. The institute’s objective is to rebuild the second Jerusalem temple, which was destroyed almost two millennia ago, and to persuade Israelis to support its construction.

Inbari asserts that the Temple Institute has grown to be a significant player in the Temple Mount movement. It maintains a publishing company, a museum with a complete blueprint and model for a potential third temple, and a project to produce and duplicate objects used in the historic temple, which has involved educating four priests, making copies of their holy robes, and creating the alters. Additionally, it produced more than 60 Sacred temple vessels required for worship in any reconstructed temple in the future.

According to Yitzchak Reuven, the director of English language social media at the Temple Institute, “The Temple was central to ancient Jewish identity.” “More than 200 of the 613 Torah rules have to do with the Temple. It has historically played a significant role in Jewish identity.

“When the Temple was destroyed, it became less prominent in Jewish identity,” he said in an interview with Al Jazeera. For Jews in Poland, Yemen, or Iraq, over 2,000 years of exile made the concept of constructing the temple seem far off in the future. Reuven, however, thought that the aspirations of constructing a third temple are no longer so far-fetched in light of Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem.

According to Yitzchak Reuven, the director of English language social media at the Temple Institute, “The Temple was central to ancient Jewish identity.” “More than 200 of the 613 Torah rules have to do with the Temple. It has historically played a significant role in Jewish identity.

“When the Temple was destroyed, it became less prominent in Jewish identity,” he said in an interview with Al Jazeera. For Jews in Poland, Yemen, or Iraq, over 2,000 years of exile made the concept of constructing the temple seem far off in the future. Reuven, however, thought that the aspirations of constructing a third temple are no longer so far-fetched in light of Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem.

In order to rekindle a desire for the temple in the Jewish soul, Reuven adds, “Our purpose is to educate and try and show people the positive side of the temple, what it can offer us.” “We need to address the temple issue now that the people of Israel have returned to the land of Israel and the Temple Mount is in Israel’s sovereign hands.”

Reuven, who frequently entered the property to pray, claimed to have encountered the Murabitat in the past, but that now that Israel has outlawed the group, there are fewer conflicts.

Reuven told Al Jazeera that despite the likelihood of a regional crisis if Islamic shrines in the property were destroyed, he “feels that The construction of the temple can only be accomplished peacefully.

Reuven laughed angrily when asked how he imagined the demolition of one of Islam’s holy sites being accomplished through conciliatory talks. That’s the challenging thing, he remarked. “Of course, you’d have to relocate, destroy, or otherwise alter the Dome of the Rock. But I do hope that religious leaders can come to an agreement and talk things out.

Reuven joyfully declared, “There’s clearly a shift in consciousness here in Israel. Whether it is just individuals discussing on the streets, in the media, or even among politicians, discourse about the temple is far more prevalent now than it was 30 years ago.

Heaven on Earth

Khwais says, “Al-Aqsa is a part of my soul,” as her eyes start to well up with tears. It has been my home ever since I was a young child. Al-Aqsa is an assurance. It is something that has been given to us, and it is our duty to keep it safe. I have no desire for anything in this world. I don’t desire a home or a vehicle. The only thing I ask for is an unfettered path to Al-Aqsa.

But Khwais has been forbidden from entering Al-Aqsa for more than ten years, just like the rest of Murabitat. She claims she has been detained and arrested by Israeli police more than 40 times. Khwais’ battle scars serve as evidence of her fidelity to the sacred spot, just like they do for every Murabitat member. She has repeatedly been battered by Israeli police, who once fractured her hand, and pepper-sprayed by settlers, who have also assaulted her. One left her bedridden for approximately a week after being struck with a metal baton by Israeli police.

Khwais was assaulted by Israeli police and dragged down the stairs leading to Damascus Gate, where the march was launched, during last year’s annual flag march, in which tens of thousands of Israelis marched through the Muslim Quarter of the Old City while waving Israeli flags and yelling racist chants like “Death to the Arabs,” in remembrance of Israel’s 1967 military occupation of East Jerusalem.

A police representative in Israel was unable to comment on the claims.

While wiping away the last of her tears, Khwais declares, “I will never become afraid of them [Israelis]. I would gladly give my life to obtain even a small amount of dirt at Al-Aqsa.

She said, “I feel sick when Israel forbids me from entering Al-Aqsa.” I recently saw two Jews inside Al-Aqsa, but I am a Muslim who was born and reared there and am therefore unable to enter.

Never deterred, Khwais spends the majority of her waking hours praying, reading verses from the Quran, and yelling at guards at one of Al-Aqsa’s gates. She also purchased a five-seater golf cart and drives elderly Palestinians to the holy spot so they can continue to pray there. But last year, Israeli authorities seized it and took away her driver’s license. Her driving privileges were restored a few months ago, and she was able to get a new, albeit smaller, cart to carry on with the transportation.

Al-Aqsa is described by Sidawi as a paradise on Earth. “Al-Aqsa is like a spring that bestows benefits on everything in its vicinity. No matter what concerns you may have when you enter Al-Aqsa, you will depart with absolute peace as if you had been born again.

“Al-Aqsa is key,” she says. “With it, you may start a war or a peace. We all cherish life and the state of peace. However, we will never permit them to seize Al-Aqsa.

You may also like

Leave a Comment

معلومات عنا

Gazapress logo

وكالة Gazapress The Bew. نحن فريق من الصحفيين والمحررين مكرسين لتقديم تغطية إخبارية دقيقة وغير متحيزة لك.

الوظائف المميزة

النشرة الإخبارية

اشترك في النشرة الإخبارية لدينا للحصول على منشورات الأخبار الجديدة.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More