The “Deal of the Century” Efforts to Reshape the “Status Quo” in Al-Aqsa Mosque

The Deal of the Century was an effort to propose a plan for peace in the middle east, especially for Palestine and Israel. However, it has horrible consequences that involves Jerusalem.

The U.S president and the Israeli Occupation prime minister at the revelation of the Deal of the Century

The “Status Quo” concept:

The “status quo” is the current state of things. It is a return to a pre-conflict point, that is, how things were being administered before the war and for the matter to remain as it was then.

The status quo of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque is to preserve its administration as an Islamic sanctuary in the hands of an Islamic endowments as it was before 4 June 1967 entirely without prejudice to the rights of its administration, reconstruction, maintenance, entry to it, rhetoric on his pulpit. It also means that the Israeli occupation does not have the authority over this place to decide its fate and that it is responsible for preserving what was the case before 1967.

From the point of view of the Ministry of Islamic Endowments, which represents Jordan, to return to what it was from the Ottoman era until the occupation in 1967, Jordan grants guardianship of the holy sites. Despite all, the status quo for the Israeli the occupation is: the continuation of all its new governance approaches, the continued storming of settlers and the police, and the imposition of restrictions on Muslim worshipers.

The deal of the century and the concept of the status quo:

“The Deal of the Century” maintains the name of the term but redefines it again, changes the status quo without saying it will change it.

Speaking of Jerusalem, the Deal of the Century states that Israel was a good sponsor of the holy sites in Jerusalem, and that its work deserves appreciation and thanks and should continue.

As for the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, it states that adherents of different religions must be enabled to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque and perform their rituals completely as their religion freely states.

The deal, then, considers that the aggression committed by the Zionist entity against the Al-Aqsa Mosque and its change of facts are commendable, as it puts the authority entirely in the hands of the Zionist occupation and wants to consider that the authority of the Islamic and Christian sanctuaries’ management is a sovereign Zionist matter, in addition to not mentioning the Islamic endowments or any Islamic administration to the mosque, thus leaving its fate in the hands of the Israeli occupation.

The deal considers that dividing the mosque is the final solution to the conflict over it, taking into account the times related to prayer and holidays, and that is what the occupation is doing now through the temporal and spatial division of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque (will elaborate in a future post), in addition to put in the hands of the Zionist occupation the authority to specify the characteristics of the worshiper who wish to enter the mosque.

Danger to the Mosque

Jerusalem embraces all three faiths

Jerusalem is one of three holy sites in Islam after Mecca and Medina, and is the meeting position of the prophets and the destination of the three biblical beliefs: Judaism, Christianity and Islam, as sacred to their followers, and linked to the spiritual life of those religions.

An aerial view shows Al-Aqsa mosque compound with the Dome of the Rock, the third most holiest site to Muslims in east Jerusalem’s the Old City, 02 October 2007. Photo by Yossi Zamir/Flash 90

Jerusalem’s holiness is displayed according to the Islamic vision.

One of Ramadan nights in Jerusalem. Photo by Islam Fawaqa

Islam inherited the Judaic and Christian religions, and all the former prophets are believed and venerated by Muslims, and most notably because Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) lead the prayer that gathered all the messengers of all time in the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Isra and Mi’raj incident.

According to the Islamic concept of the Abrahamic monotheistic origin to which these religions belong, Islam recognizes, glorifies and sanctifies the prophets who were all preceding them, and whose mention was linked to the city of Jerusalem, such as Abraham, David, Solomon, Moses and Jesus (peace be upon them). This unique Islamic vision makes Jerusalem, compared to Judaism and Christianity, holier according to the Islamic view.

Jerusalem welcomes its people, all under Islamic law.

Photograph shows a religious procession with the Greek Orthodox Patriarch going into the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem during the Ottoman era in 1915

Muslims have allowed Christians and Jews to live in Jerusalem and to practice their religion freely therein. When Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may God be pleased with him) conquered/freed the city, the Muslims guaranteed the safety of the lives of the Christians of Jerusalem through the pledge of age, the security of their property and churches, and the freedom of their belief and worship. Caliph Umar also refused to pray in the Holy Sepulcher Church as Sophronius of Jerusalem told him to do in order to catch up prayer time, instead he prayed nearby so that Muslims would not make this an excuse to convert the church into a mosque later.

Church of the Holy Sepulcher / Photo by Saleh Zighari

Muslims also guaranteed the Jews’ return to settle in, after being prevented from merely approaching or looking at it in previous ages. Later when Salahuddeen freed Jerusalem, Christians were not banned from visiting the city, and the Eastern Christians were allowed to settle back and openly oversaw their holy sites inside it. Jews were also allowed to remain in it. Thus, Jerusalem remained under Islamic rule a city that accepts the followers of the three religions, and that its people did not enjoy stability and freedom, except in the period of Muslims rule the city.

International Electronic Jerusalem Day

Picture taken by Abdalafo Bassam [Instagram: @abdalafo]

More than 160 institutions operating in 30 countries around the world launched the “World Electronic Jerusalem Day” on the seventh of June, 2020 that is primarily initiated by “Al-Quds Amanati” forum.

This day was launched in accordance with the 53rd anniversary of the occupationof the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the occupationof the eastern portion of Jerusalem City that persisted after the 1948 “Nakba” takeover of the City.

On this painful anniversary, with the aim of this day is to revive the duty of support solidarity for Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque in the hearts of Muslims and free people of the world, and to shed light on the massive violations of the Israeli Occupation against holy sites and Jerusalemites, and to communicate their suffering through the cyberspace that has become the language of the world.

The Zionist occupation and the division of the city of Jerusalem as a result of the defeat in 1948:

The Zionists were able to declare a Jewish entity on the land of Palestine, and the Zionists did not adhere to the limits mentioned in the partition resolution, but instead they conquered most of the land of Palestine and tried to occupy the whole city of Jerusalem. The Arabs managed to stop the Zionist advance and protect the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque and the rest of the city of Jerusalem. With the end of the war, the city of Jerusalem became divided, the western part was occupied by the Zionists, and the eastern part was not. The division that happened was illegal, as it came as a result of the occupation of West Jerusalem, which is not acceptable, and therefore it is not correct to use the name: East Jerusalem and West Jerusalem.

The nature of the Zionist occupation:

The Zionist occupation in its essence aims to empty Palestine from its legit people and to replace them with Jewish settlers, and to impose a Jewish identity on the state of Palestine where its capital is the city of Jerusalem. TheIsraeli occupation does not aim to integrate the Palestinians into its state, or accept an Islamic or mixed identity of the city of Jerusalem, but it is gradually working to Judaize the city to make it a pure Jewish city.  Since the beginning of the occupation, the Palestinians are still standing against the occupation with all forms of resistance, and they insist on staying in and resisting in the city of Jerusalem despite the narrowing of the occupation on them in various ways to make their lives in the city difficult. In case the Palestinians are left to face the occupation alone, the Zionists will be able to impose their identity on them gradually, hence they should never be left alone by any means.

As I conclude this article, here are some pictures of the beautiful Jerusalem City before 1948 Nakba, with the hope that very soon we will find it freed from the occupiers.

Al-Aqsa Mosque Re-opens

At last, on 31 May 2020, and after 70 days of its closure, Al-Aqsa Mosque is re-opened now for Muslims, where they conducted their prayer at dawn.

Nothing would describe how people were feeling, everyone just kept rushing inside as fast as they could once the doors opened.

Sadly, later on this blessed day, Zionists stormed the Mosque.

In addition to all that, the Israeli occupation police arrested young men from inside the mosque.

One of the arrested Palestinians guys

The Israeli police not only arrested young men, but they also arrested the Jerusalemite journalist Sondos Oways while she was doing her job.

Occupation police arresting a journalist inside the mosque

What the Israelis are doing is an outrage against holy sites, and it is never acceptable. The Israeli occupation has no right in Al-Aqsa Mosque, their only mission is to sabotage and applying injustice conducts against Palestinians.

This day was supposed to be a great one without the profane of the occupiers. But one day, they will all vanish and this land would get its pureness again.

On the 72-Years of Palestinian Nakba Memory

The 1948 Palestinian exodus, also known as the Nakba (Day of the Catastrophe), occurred when more than 700,000 Palestinian Arabs — about half of prewar Palestine’s Arab population — fled or were expelled from their homes, during the 1948 Palestine war. It is commemorated on 15 May, the day after the Gregorian calendar date for Israeli Independence Day (Yom Ha’atzmaut). For the Palestinians it is an annual day of commemoration of the displacement/exodus that preceded and followed the Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948.

Nakba 1948 Palestine – Jaramana Refugee Camp, Damascus, Syria

The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine” Book

The Book of Ethnic Cleansing in Palestine Scholar Ilan Pappé states in his book “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine” that the massacres and resettlement operations commited against the Palestinians in 1948 were crimes of ethnic cleansing, with respect to the archives of the Zionist gangs.

The expulsion of the Palestinians was not a mass evacuation, but the strategy was « Plan Dalet » which included clear instructions to use various methods of expelling them, including: rising fear, bombing villages and residential centers, burning houses, demolishing houses and planting mines in the ruins to deter the expellees from returning.

The ethnic cleansing plan lasted for six continuous months, which led to the emptying of the occupied Palestine land in 1948 from its owners. 

Jerusalemites mass eviction in 1948:

In 1947, the number of the Arab community in the city of Jerusalem exceeded its mandatory limits of 65,100. During the 1948 war, Jerusalem was one of the most important cities included in the “Dalet” initiative, which aimed at expelling the largest possible number of Arabs by force of arms, as a prelude to the creation of a Jewish national home on a property, where the Jews form the majority of population there.

In the villages of Abu Ghosh and Beit Safafa, the Zionists counted the numbers of Arab citizens who lived in the city during the war and their invasion 84 % of the Jerusalem district, and found that they were just 1,100 people. Meanwhile, Jordanian statistics indicated that the population of the remaining section is under their control did not increase exceed 33,000 person, who were mostly focused in Jerusalem’s Old City, where the Zionist gangs expelled 31,000 people from the area they seized from Jerusalem, which is more than 96.5 % of the population. Furthermore, Zionists expelled all the inhabitants in the area that was added to the Jerusalem boundaries from the west before the census, which is around 16 square kilometers containing 40 Jerusalem villages.

The Zionist gangs carried out a mass expulsion of the entire population by force and deliberately carried out a horrific massacre in the village of “Deir Yassin”, one of the villages on the western side adjacent to Jerusalem. News of the massacre and its brutality spread, helping to clear the surrounding villages and districts of the region.

What happened to the refugees properties back then?

“The Absentees’ Property Law

This law was issued in 1950 with the aim of confiscating the property of the Palestinians who were expelled during the Nakba in 1948, and the Israeli occupation used it as a “legal basis” to place a hand on the property of the displaced Palestinians.

The law was applied to East Jerusalem in 1967 to confiscate property belonging to Jerusalemites residing outside Palestine. The property of Palestinians living in the West Bank was confiscated in 2015, as their property is considered “absentee property” in East Jerusalem!

Here are some pictures of Jerusalem before Nakba

Israelis plan to break in Al-Aqsa Mosque in the memorial of their so-called “Jerusalem Day”

“Temple groups” are prepare for the so-called “Jerusalem Day” on Friday 22-5-2020 corresponding to 29th of Ramadan (the last Friday of Ramadan). They intend to storm the Al-Aqsa Mosque on that day, considering that Al-Aqsa will be empty of Muslims.

Jerusalem Day is an Israeli national holiday commemorating the reunification of Jerusalem and the establishment of Israeli control over the Old City in the aftermath of the June 1967 Six-Day War. The day is officially marked by state ceremonies and memorial services, which is one of the most dangerous days for Al-Aqsa Mosque.

In a gesture indicating their intention to storm the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the day of the occupation of Jerusalem, a group of “students for the Temple” posted a picture and commented that this scene would soon be in Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Temple groups seek to storm a large number once the mosque is reopened, and open the door for registration to those wishing to inform them directly of personal messages as soon as they receive the decision of the occupation police to open the door for storming them. More than 183 extremists registered to be ready to storm the next day from their notification.

Temple groups raise a petition to the Zionist Supreme Court demanding that the Al-Aqsa Mosque be reopened urgently. Attorney “Itimar Bin Juffair” filed a petition asking her to issue a decision to allow extremist groups to break into. And in a petition filed by “Arnon Segal”, “Yehuda Etzion,” and “Bin Juffair”, it was stated that closing the mosque in the face of the Jews and allowing the employees of the endowments to perform the ritual prayer was a discrimination against the Jews. And the extremist, “Arnon Segal”, claimed that the occupation police prevented him from storming the mosque, while he was carrying a journalist status.

The petition demanded that extremist groups be allowed to storm the mosque as the anniversary of the occupation of Jerusalem approaches, and that the stormed group not less than 10 people.

The delay in issuing a decision to open the Al-Aqsa Mosque serves the interests of the occupation and its plans. All indications show that the occupation government will allow storming, given that it will be at the end of the blessed month of Ramadan. If Muslims respond to that on the same day or on the 30th of Ramadan by opening the mosque, this response will not be appropriate because the general intention is to open the mosque after Ramadan considering the Coronavirus crisis has receded.

We hope that this crisis would end soon, and Israelis won’t achieve their vicious goals regarding our beloved Mosque.

Here are some beautiful pictures of Al-Aqsa Mosque on the 50th day of its closure, the 18th of Ramadan / 12 May 2020. Sadly it is empty, but hopefully soon it will be reopened for worshipers.

Israeli Occupation Actions during the Pandemic

Despite the pandemic and lockdown, Israeli occupation is taking advantage of the tough situation the world is passing through, the strict rules of mosques closure, and the Jerusalemites who can no longer stay in their way when violating Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Israeli occupation intentions to Judaize Jerusalem city is not seizing, and they will not stop until they take over the whole city; but they won’t, not now, not later, NEVER.

The walls of the Old City of Jerusalem were lit up with the names of the occupation army soldiers who were killed in all their wars since the occupation of Palestine land.

Wall of the Old City lit with israeli occupation soldiers’ names

Although prayers stopped in Mosques, churches, and all places of worship, israeli occupation reopened the Al-Buraq Wall adjacent to the Al-Aqsa Mosque from the western side, and is allowing 300 Jews to perform discipleship prayers at it simultaneously.

Israeli occupation preparing Al-Buraq Wall for Jew prayers

The spokesman for the Temple Group calls for opening the Al-Aqsa intrusion of the Zionists, not only Al-Buraq Wall area, and criticizes the policy of the Zionist government for not to allow the Jews to storm the Mosque yet.

Zionists urge to reopen the Mosque for them

The Mosque is in great danger in the absence of Jerusalemites (the indigenous people), and the zionists are taking advantage of anything that would help in their disrupting deeds.

Jerusalem city during the Coronavirus crisis and the month of Ramadan

As the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was announced “pandemic” by the World Health Organization (WHO), the world was not the same anymore. Lockdown has affected all aspects of life; education, commerce, travel, international events… etc. In the midst of what is going on, the Israeli occupation has took advantage of lockdown by closing Al-Aqsa Mosque and disable Muslims and carry on their shameful deeds.

Nowadays, Muslims around the world are celebrating the month of Ramadan, the 9th month of the Hijri calendar in which Muslims fast from dawn until dusk. During this month, Muslims gather in mosques to perform Taraweeh prayer (conducted in the evening after Eshaa prayer). Sadly, most countries this year decided to close mosques in order to keep on social distancing in order to prevent the virus from spreading. Other countries allowed prayer at mosques but conducting safety precautions including keeping distance between the people praying.

The Old City is almost empty, something people there are not used to especially in these days.

Muslims in Jerusalem are performing their prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque closed gates. Staff only are praying inside.

People of the Old City perform Tarawih prayers at the doors of Al-Aqsa Mosque, separated and surrounded by safety and protection reasons. Whoever takes precaution in the open places will undoubtedly be more cautious inside the mosque, knowing that the mosque has wide and open arenas, so what is the reason for not opening the mosque while taking all preventive and safety measures?

The Israeli occupation took advantage of lockdown and prevented anyone from entering to pray inside Al-Aqsa Mosque, in addition to allowing extremist settlers to storm the mosque.

Settlers demonstrate in front of the Mughrabi Gate, and demand the opening of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque for incursions
The prayers of the Zionists and their desecration of the Al-Buraq Wall (The Western Wall), even under Coronavirus crisis

In addition to that, religious jews assembled from various places in order to perform their religious rituals at Al-Buraq Wall (The Western Wall) without taking the means of precaution and prevention and setting space between each other and without specifying the number of Jews in the square.

Religious Jews come from various regions and pray at Al-Buraq Wall, assaulting the Islamic value of the place

Muslims pray in Al-Asbat gate yard, and they’re about 3 meters away from each other, with a small number in that place, which is just restricted to 19 persons. Al-Aqsa squares are very wide. Muslims in Jerusalem support endowments by closing the mosque for safety and protection against the virus, and it is certain that the worshipers who kept on distancing in the Al-Aqsa squares before the closure are fully prepared to take the means of prevention again. Furthermore, it is certain that the employees and volunteers of the endowments are ready to mark the lands of the squares for worshipers to stand at, and are ready to maintain safe and legal distances in addition to applying wearing masks and hand sanitizing stations. The closing of the Al-Aqsa Mosque serves the malicious desires of the Israeli occupation.

The first builder of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque

Picture taken by Abdalafo Bassam

Adam (peace be upon him) was probably the first to set foot in the Holy Land of Makkah and in the Land of Jerusalem. In this context, it was narrated in Sahih Al-Bukhari, on Abu Dharr’s authority (may God be pleased with him); He said: “I said: O Messenger of Allah (God), which mosque was first put on Earth? He said: Al-Haram Mosque. I said: Then which? He said: Then the Al-Aqsa Mosque I said: How much was between them? He said: forty (40 years). Then he added: “Wherever prayer reached you pray, and the earth is your mosque.”

The articulation “put” in that hadith narrates its “limits”, and it is likey that Adam (peace be upon him), was the first builder of Al-Aqsa Mosque after 40 years of the Al-Haram Mosque, and it was the first thing that was constructed in the city of Jerusalem, before the city was originally founded.

Architectural style of both the Kaaba and the “area” of Al-Aqsa Mosque at the beginning of the seventh century AD. These two shapes represent the horizontal projection of both the Kaaba and the Al-Aqsa Mosque area, where the similarities between them are observed. Ref: Al-Ratrout, Haitham: “The Blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque in Qur’anic Antiquities”, Journal of Studies in Jerusalem, Summer 2005.

The two architectural styles are approximately identical and have the same shape, which indicates that the founder of both: the Kaaba (Al-Haram Mosque) and Al-Aqsa Mosque is the same builder. (will elaborate more in a future post)

Defining The Blessed Al Aqsa Masjid (Mosque)

You ever see this beautifully structured mosque and say: Oh! That’s the Al Aqsa Mosque that Muslims love and fight for in Jerusalem!

Well… no, this is not the Al Aqsa mosque. This is part of it. It is called: The Dome of The Rock.

The Blessed Al Aqsa Masjid (Mosque) is one of the holiest three mosques in Islam, along with Al-Haraam and Al-Nabawi, and is the first Qibla (prayer direction for Muslims). God Almighty singled it out so that it would be the end of the prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) night-journey and the beginning of his ascent to the heavens (this miracle’s memorial this year: 22-3-2020), and is where prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the Imam (the one leading the prayer) of ALL the prophets.

The mosque is the entire walled area in a semi-rectangular area (144 acres), which is located on the southeastern side of the Old City in Jerusalem (872 acres), and it includes everything that was fenced on it, above and below the land.

An aerial view shows Al-Aqsa mosque compound with the Dome of the Rock, the third most holiest site to Muslims in east Jerusalem’s the Old City, 02 October 2007. Photo by Yossi Zamir/Flash 90 (edited by the blogger for true and reliable information)

Who named this mosque?

“Al-Aqsa Mosque” is a Quranic designation. In fact, only two mosques had a Quranic designation: the Al-Haraam Mosque (The Great Mosque of Makka) and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

ُسُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَىٰ بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلًا مِّنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الْأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَه مِنْ آيَاتِنَا ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ
(سورة الإسراء - الآية 1)
Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al-Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing.
(Quran, Al-Israa Surah, verse 1)

The mosque has another name, known in Jerusalem as “the Noble Sanctuary: Haram esh-Sharif”.

The two terms are used to denote the same meaning, and the holy site itself.

Its Location:

The blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque is located on a mountain in the southeastern corner of the walled part of Jerusalem, which is known as the Old City. The mosque occupies the entire area of the mountain, Al Aqsa Compound (NOT THE TEMPLE MOUNT!!!).

An aerial view of the Old City, Jerusalem. The area of the blessed Al Aqsa Mosque is one sixth of the area of the Old City.

Area and Borders:

The area of the blessed Al Aqsa Mosque is one sixth of the area of the Old City.

The area of the mosque is approximately 144 acres, and its dimensions, as stated in the book “The Plans of Sham” by Muhammad al-Kurd, written in 1899 are:
490 meters from the west, 474 meters from the east, 321meters from the north, and 283 meters from the south.
The eastern mosque wall and part of its southern wall are shared with the Old City wall.
The entire walled area, and all its empty or built spaces, above or below the ground, are sacred sites and parts of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque.

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