Gazans, besieged by Israel, yearn for hours-away Quds

Israel occupied Al-Quds in 1967 in a move condemned by the international community.

Gazans, besieged by Israel, yearn for hours-away Quds

Palestinians in the Gaza strip, prevented by Israel from making the short journey to visit the Dome of the Rock, are flocking to have their photos taken with a model of the shrine, Islam's third holiest site.

Israel occupied Al-Quds in 1967 in a move condemned by the international community.

The city is home to Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Muslims' first Qiblah [direction Muslims take during prayers] and the third holiest shrine after Al Ka'bah in Makkah and Prophet Muhammad's Mosque in Madinah, Saudi Arabia.

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The wooden model of the golden-domed structure that punctuates Jerusalem's (Al-Quds) skyline, was made by activists from Hamas to mark 23 years since the founding of the group, which seized Gaza in 2007.

It was later moved to Gaza City's main square where members of the public, many of whom have never seen the real thing, have been posing for photos.

University student Rima al-Wadeya, 20, who had just had her picture taken by a friend, said she had never been to Jerusalem which is less than two hours away by car. Others said they visited decades ago.

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"Getting to Jerusalem is like an impossible dream ... so we are taking a picture, trying to fool ourselves," Wadeya said.

Israel still imposes a siege on the Gaza Strip, home to 1.5 million Palestinians.

Al-Quds is also home to some of the holiest Christian worship places, including the Jerusalem Church and the Greek Orthodox Church.

Israel has been working hard over the past years to Judaize the holy city and change its Islamic identity.


Agencies

Last Mod: 22 Aralık 2010, 10:56
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