Jerusalelm, in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City

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Tamar Fleishman; Translator: Tal H.

Walking around the Muslim Quarter of the Old City, knowing that at the same time the brothers of the local residents are bleeding – was like being imprisoned in a parallel universe.

The peacefulness and calm in these streets and alleys were an illusory cover-up of the subterranean bubbling that might break out at any moment.

The area is run by oppressing and dominating the lives of its residents for 56 years now, and there is no expiration date.

One cannot ignore the representatives of this oppression – the armed people manning concrete posts, standing in street corners, patrolling the roads and holding meticulous, invasive inspections of Palestinians along every single one of the tracks leading to the Al Aqsa Mosque. As though this were fate and not the draconian ruling of a terrorist regime.

Muslims were asked where they live, and anyone who is not a resident of Jerusalem (holding a blue Israeli ID) was demanded to show a permit issued by the authorities. Because the wish to pray to one’s Creator, it too – like anything else – depends on the whim and will of the ruling power.

Some of them – I have no idea by what criteria – were deprived of their IDs that were piled up on a table near the entrance. The fact that Israeli law explicitly states that no one’s ID may be taken away has no significance when the only power around is that of the gun.

This is a deposit, not a confiscation – a policeman explained, as though the difference is merely semantic.

Paraphrasing the words of a senior minister, I would say: What are the life and death of people worth if we do not control them?

Here are pictures of things seen along the way: