While Muslims across sectarian lines share a reverence for many holy sites, some sites hold special significance for certain groups. For instance, the al-Aqsa mosque (located in Jerusalem) is recognized and revered by all Muslims, but it is also a powerful symbol of Palestinian nationhood. In fact, unlike the Dome of the Rock, the mosque is not generally used as a pan-Islamic symbol, but rather is usually employed as an Islamic symbol of Palestinian national identity.
Here, the image features a deceased Hamas operative, Hani Majid Abu al-`Umarayn, who appears against a green background and symbolic rays of light emanating from the sacred mosque (rays of light give an aura of divination and life after death, i.e., the achievement of rank of martyrdom). The caption is an announcement of his martyrdom: “harakat al-muqawama al-islamiyya hamas tan‘a bi-kull ayat al-fakhr wal-i‘tizaz: shahiduha al-mujahid hani majid Abu al-‘umarayn” (“Hamas announces with all signs of honor and pride, the death of its mujahid martyr”). The caption continues in very fine print at the bottom of the image, detailing the deceased’s town of residence and the location, occasion and date of his death (21 August 2003).