When Israel was created in 1948, the Palestinians were scattered and divided across many lands. Today, the Palestinians who now make up 20 per cent of the Israeli population are growing ever closer to their fellows in the Occupied Territories.
Increasingly they are being drawn together by the Islamic faith as a religious, cultural and political force. At its centre is the most contested piece of land on earth: the site of the al-Aqsa mosque or, as the Israelis know it, the Temple of Solomon.
|Al-Aqsa Dome in Israel|
Palestinians in the Occupied Territories can no longer get to Jerusalem because of the Wall, so the Islamic movement organises busloads of Israeli Palestinians every week to come to attend the mosque and help sustain the battered economy of the Old City.
This is the symbolic heart of the health, welfare and education projects that have made the Islamic movement a fast-growing political force; its supporters have elected mayors of Arab towns and members of the Knesset.
These representatives also act as a bridge to Hamas, the elected leadership of the Occupied Territories. We show how, on both sides of the wall, Islam is becoming the dominant voice of Palestinian politics.
Watch this episode of God's Business here:
God's Business: Islam in Israel aired from Monday 01st October 2007
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