'Not budging': Photos of Palestinians unfazed during Israeli raids on al-Aqsa go viral
With footage of violent Israeli raids on al-Aqsa Mosque dominating Palestinian social media for days, a parallel trend has gone viral, inspired by pictures of worshippers looking unfazed amid the chaos in the occupied East Jerusalem site.
Social media users are sharing photos on the hashtag #not_budging of mostly elderly Palestinians sitting defiantly in the mosque while Israeli forces club people with batons, and fire teargas, stun grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets.
Translation: We continue with the series of Not Budging, Staying In It!
Since Friday, Israeli forces have stormed al-Aqsa five times to empty the site of worshippers and make way for settler and far-right activists to attend in their place.
More than 150 people have been wounded in the Israeli assaults, including journalists and medics, and at least 450 were arrested.
Some Palestinians have tried to respond to the assault by throwing rocks at the heavily armed forces, create loud noise to disrupt settlers, or raise their voices with national chants.
But for many, ignoring the commotion was more than enough.
One of the most popular pictures to spark the trend was of a Palestinian man lying on his side, resting his head on his arm, watching a group of fully armed officers standing ahead of him.
Another photo showed a man leaning against a wall, carrying his mobile phone while an Israeli officer a few metres away was aiming his stun grenade launcher.
Another video showed a Palestinian child reciting from the Quran in the courtyard of al-Aqsa while settlers walked by on their tour.
Translation: Raad with a brave heart, a Jerusalemite child defies settlers and sits where they tour #not_budging_sitting_in_it
The phrase "not budging", translated from the Arabic mish mitzah’zah, comes from a popular Palestinian song by Kifah Zraiqi, called I am the son of Jerusalem, or Ana Ibn Il-Quds. In the song, Zraiqi says “I am the son of Jerusalem, I’m not budging, I’m staying [sitting] right here”.
Far-right Israeli activists and settler groups had announced plans to storm al-Aqsa this week in large numbers, starting from Sunday, to mark Passover.
On Sunday, 545 settlers stormed the mosque and 561 more entered on Monday, according to the Waqf, the Jordanian-run trust that oversees the holy site. The raids were widely condemned by Palestinians, who say the move is part of a larger plan to split al-Aqsa between Muslims and Jews.