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21st August – Commemorating Burning Of Al Aqsa Mosque – Remember Al Aqsa , Save Al Aqsa

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Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid

▪President Malaysian Consultative Council of Islamic Organizations
▪Secretary General Alliance of World Mosques in Defence of Al Aqsa 
▪Secretary General Secretariate for the Ulama Assembly of Asia

On the 21 st August in 1969,  Zionists started a fire in the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. Amin al-Husseini, the former Mufti of Jerusalem, called for all Muslim heads of state to convene a summit to defend Palestine.

On 25 September 1969, a summit of heads of states of 24 Muslim majority countries was held in Rabat, Morocco. A resolution was passed that called for close cooperation and mutual assistance between Muslim countries. Six months later in March 1970, the First Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers was held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Two years later, in 1972, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) was founded. It was inspired by the Palestinian resistance against the Zionist occupation.

Now in Al Aqsa , 53 years later , the situation has deteriorated. The blatant occupation by the Israeli Occupation Forces ( IOF ) ,  has inflicted gross violation of human rights and international law against the Palestinians in Jeruselem since its invasion in 1967.

Over the pass eight years , incursions into the Al Aqsa Mosque  by the Israel Occupation Forces and Jewish settlers have been highly aggressive , a likelihood of an escalation of more aggression.

On the 30th October 2014 , israel closed for the first time the Mosque since 1967.

In 2015 , the Palestinian Murabitun and Murabitat ( Deferenders of the Holy Sanctury ) was outlawed by the IOF. Hundreds were detained .

In July 22, 2018 the Jew settlers stormed the Mosque under heavy israeli police protection.

In 11, August 2019 , israel police used tear gas and rubber steel coated bullets on Muslim worshippers in the Mosque , injuring many.

On May 7th , 2021 , another assault in the Mosque was launched by the israeli police leaving many injured.

On April 15 , 2022 in the month of Ramadhan  the israel police again raided and short Muslim worshippers with tear gas. Hundreds were wounded and hundreds more were arrested by the israeli police. Israeli forces stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque using tear gas shells and sound bombs, injuring at least 59 Palestinians.

In April 18, 2022 , more than 20 Palestinians are wounded in several incidents in and around Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, bringing the number of wounded since April 15 to more than 170. This also follows deadly violence in Israel and the occupied West Bank starting in late March in which 36 people were killed.

The head of the Lahava Israeli extremist organization,  called on the settlers to demolish the Dome of the Rock inside the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque in the the annual “flag march” scheduled for May 28 , 2022.

Bentzi Gopstein, the founder and leader of Lehava, published the controversial post online in which he called on Israeli settlers to unite on “Jerusalem Day” on 29 May to break into Al-Aqsa and start dismantling the revered Muslim landmark and pave the way for building a Jewish temple at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Scores of Israeli ultra-nationalists, including settlers, stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem on Sunday morning as the Israeli military onslaught on Gaza from 5th August  entered its third day. Protected by heavily armed Israeli forces, the storming began at around 7am local time and continued for three hours, as Israelis marked the Jewish holiday of Tisha B’av.

Israel has an ultimate agenda of taking over and to demolish the Holy Mosque.

Since 2003, Israel has allowed settlers into the flashpoint compound almost daily with exceptions on Fridays and Saturday.

Israeli excavations in Jerusalem are posing an imminent threat to the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and residents of the holy city,  The Israel excavations beneath the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound have been in full swing in the past 60 years,” according to archaeology professor Jamal Amro. Since 1967, the Occupation has initiated a steadily increasing number of excavations and tunnels at, and in the vicinity of, Masjid al-Aqsa, which according to the latest statistics have reached more than 64 active excavations.

Most apparent Zionist attempt to alter Al Aqsa is the Judaization project. An active plan is underway to change the features of Al Aqsa and its surrounding to Hebrew and biblical characters.

According to Aqsapedia , altering the names and features of Al-Aqsa is now very aggressively launched by the Zionists.

Almost 7000 names of locations in the city of Jerusalem have been changed by the Occuaption. Masjid al-Aqsa too has not been exempt, as the Occupation has always insisted on imposing biblical names on the mosque and its landmarks, with the aim of creating misplaced connections between them al-Aqsa. The most prominent of these is referring to Masjid al-Aqsa as the “Temple Mount”. Doors of the mosque have been slapped with biblical names, an example of which is the Triple Gate being called Huldah. These designations have been affirmed by tourist guides, official proclamations and maps, and placing of signs bearing such nomenclature at the entrances to Masjid al-Aqsa.

While all these development is underming the integrity of Al Aqsa , OIC is unfortunately numbed. By not acting dicicively , OIC has dishonoured its commitment to reclaim Al Aqsa. The history of Al Aqsa did not show the solidarity of OIC to protect and liberate it. Now , the 3rd Holiest Mosque in Islam is under continuos attacked and the Muslim nations have been crippled to do anything to free it.

OIC is now 50 years old after its birth. Time after time the Palestinians are victimised and dehumanized as legitimate targets  by the IOF with impunity.

What the world is witnessing  is the complete denial of the rights of the Palestinians to exist. From Gaza to the West Bank and Jeruselem , they are under non-stop suppressive laws by the apartheid regime of Israel.

The Palestinians are living under a asymmetric violence on a daily basis. Killings , house raids, demolitions and evictions , targetting Palestinians are a norm for the settlers and the IOF . The world knows this. And yet the narrative is still the same. Suppression against Palestinians is a pervasive reality.

Friday August 5 , 2022 another horrorific attack  struck Gaza. It seems a never-ending story. Again, Israeli aircraft bombarded Gaza, killing children, women and men.  Many are dead, many more are injured.

This time within 3 consequtive days israel bombs were reigned on Gaza , killing more than 40 including 15 children and more than 300 injured including destroyed homes.

And as usual US and UK  immediately responded by repeating the same claim of israel’s rights to “self defence” against ” terrorist “.

It is unfortunate that some countries of the OIC now have entered into agreements of cooperation with Israel, thus betraying their founding creed of solidarity with the Palestinians suffering from injustice.

OIC must honour their history of solidarity with the Palestinian liberation struggle by issuing a resolute condemnation of the Israeli aggression of the past few days and by sanctioning those of its members who have proceeded on a path of ‘normalisation’ with the apartheid regime.  There can be no normalisation of war crimes, genocidal acts and policies and ongoing ethnic cleansing.

*The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of samudera.my*

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