“Film it! Take pictures! Film it!”

While walking along the narrow, busy streets of the Old City in Jerusalem earlier today I heard suddenly some yelling, in Arabic and Hebrew, near one of the passages to the Al-Aqsa Mosque. I quickly ran over and saw a ‘clash’ was taking place between elderly Palestinian women and a couple of Israeli soldiers.

While arguing in Arabic with the soldiers, who were blocking the passage, denying them entry to the mosque, some of the women where inviting bystanding tourists to film and take pictures of the scene and show it to the ‘outside world’.

My Palestinian friend, standing next to me, told me that the soldiers weren’t letting men and women under the age of 50 pass through to the mosque. This has apparently been the rule for some time now. A routine that began about a year ago and takes place from morning to the forenoon where the mosque area is also open for Jews, and some tourists.

Mens jeg går langs de trængte og travle gader i Jerusalems gamle bydel, hører jeg pludselig noget højt råben på arabisk og hebraisk nær en af passagerne til al-Aqsa moskéen. Jeg løber hurtigt derhen og ser at larmen kommer fra et sammenstød mellem ældre palæstinensiske kvinder og israelske soldater.

Soldaterne har stillet sig foran indgangen til moskéen, blokereret med afspærringer, og nægter kvinderne adgang, hvilket får flere af de frustrerede kvinder til at invitere de omkringstående til at “filme og tage billeder” af scenen og “vise det til omverdenen”.

Min palæstinensiske ven, som står ved siden af mig, fortæller mig, at soldaterne nægter mænd og kvinder under 50 adgang til moskéen. En “sikkerhedspolitik” og dagligrutine, der ifølge de lokale startede omkring et år tilbage og bliver taget brug fra omkring morgenstund til formiddagen, hvor moské-pladsen også ville være åben for jøder og nogle turister.

Det, at jøder ville ind til pladsen, overraskede mig også, så jeg spurgte nogle af de omkringstående palæstinensere hvorfor det var. Nogle af dem følte at jøderne kun ville ind for at “provokere”, andre fortalte at de var begyndt at bede derinde, hvorfor vidste de ikke, og et par mente at alt dette blot var “næste trin” i deres plan om at genopbygge det nye tempel.

Uanset årsagen virkede frustrationen og vreden i hvert fald klar hos disse palæstinensere, som ikke virkede glade for de nye restriktioner for at komme ind til deres hellige plads.

Posted by 2 uger i Israel og Palæstina on Sunday, August 17, 2014

The fact that Jews would even want to go in surprised me a bit so I approached some of the nearby standing Palestinians and asked them about it. Some felt that the Jews only wanted to enter to “provoke”, others said that the Jews had begun praying there, for some reason they did not know, and some believed that all this was just “the next step” in their plan to build the new temple.

Whatever the reason, the frustration and anger seemed clear among the Palestinians who did not seem happy about these new limitations on visiting their holy mosque.

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