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Occupied PalestineContrary to current belief, upheld and perpetuated by the Zionists, the "occupied territories" are not just those areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip held by the Zionist state of Israel since 1967; they are, in fact, all of the land occupied since 1948 of what was called Palestine.
The members of the delegation were all 'converts' to the faith of Islam living in Britain who had known each other for up to ten years. All shared a common abhorrence of what was seen in the media concerning army brutality against the Palestinian uprising. Discussion had already taken place about the possibility of visiting the third holiest site in Islam, the Masjid Al - Aqsa, when the television pictures of Israeli soldiers firing tear - gas inside the Masjid during Friday prayers were shown; the decision was then made to go to Jerusalem as soon as possible to see how best the Muslims of Palestine could be helped by those in the West.
Prior to departure for Jerusalem, where the delegation was based, letters detailing the intentions for the trip were sent to the British Government Foreign Office, various non - governmental organisations (including the UNWRA, Amnesty International and the London office of the PLO) and all of the Ambassadors of Muslim countries represented in London. The delegation's first press release stated:
British Muslims, concerned at what is happening to fellow Muslims in the Holy Land, are sending a delegation to Jerusalem, following the advice given by Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. He said that the world - wide Muslim community is like one body and when one part is hurt, the whole body feels the pain. Another prophetic tradition (Hadith) urges Muslims to undergo the hardships of a journey to visit three places, one of which is the Mosque in Jerusalem.
It was made clear that the delegation was going with an open mind about the unrest and any possible solutions, preferring to see the situation first - hand before drawing any conclusions.
On arrival in Jerusalem, the delegation met with the Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Saaduddin Alami, whose Islamic Cultural and Science Society made the arrangements for the duration of the stay. The group was given a brief outline of the situation together with a list of "do's and don'ts" after which a tour of the Maqasid General Hospital was organised. It was at this overcrowded hospital that the delegation received a shocking introduction to the effects of the measures being taken by the Israeli authorities against the Palestinian people. Of course, not every patient was seen but the general picture can be obtained from the following list of casualties.