Fri 14 Apr 2023 10:16 pm - Jerusalem Time

Thousands of demonstrators in Iran and Arab countries commemorate "Quds Day"

Thousands of demonstrators in Iran and Arab countries celebrated Friday " Quds Day " in support of the Palestinian cause, amid the escalation of violence in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Iranians have celebrated "Quds Day" every year on the last Friday of Ramadan, in solidarity with the Palestinians.

Marches were also organized on this occasion in a number of Arab countries and the Palestinian territories.

In Iran, rallies took place in Tehran and in many other cities such as Tabriz (northwest), Hamedan (west), Yazd (east), Bandar Abbas (south) and Abadan (southwest), according to state media.

Demonstrators chanted "Death to Israel and America", waving the flags of Palestine, Iran and Lebanon's Hezbollah.

The demonstrators carried banners reading "The destruction of Israel is near" and "Palestine is the centerpiece of the unity of the Islamic world."

And in central Tehran, demonstrators burned the American and Israeli flags and pictures of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to AFP correspondents.

This year's "Quds Day" comes amid escalating acts of violence, bloody confrontations and attacks in the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel, and the firing of rockets from Gaza, Lebanon and Syria at the Hebrew state, which responded to the fire in kind.

"Today, the Palestinians are resolutely resisting the Israeli aggression against Gaza," Parliament Speaker Baqer Qalibaf said in a speech he delivered in Tehran on Friday.

In the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, where pro-Iranian parties share power, hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets to commemorate "Quds Day."

The demonstrators raised banners and pictures of the Iraqi Shiite cleric, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, and the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ali Khamenei, as well as Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of the popular crowd, who was killed along with the Iranian military commander, Qassem Soleimani, in a raid launched by an American drone in January 2020 on a road. Baghdad airport.

One of the banners raised by the demonstrators read, "God willing, the end of Israel will be in the coming years," and they chanted slogans, including "No, no, America," and "Yes, yes to Jerusalem, no, no to normalization" with Israel.

"It is not possible to reach a solution. Israel does not want security and safety in the region," Sayed al-Husseini, a local leader in the Badr Organization, one of the armed factions affiliated with the Popular Mobilization Forces, told AFP.

He added, "When these factions in Iraq come out in response to Imam Khomeini's call for Quds Day, we are all a sacrifice for Jerusalem."

In turn, the retired employee of the Ministry of Health, Ziyad Abdullah Hassan (65 years), said, "Quds Day is a call to all Muslims, in Arab countries or in the world, for unity, the elimination of the Zionist entity, and the guarantee of the return of the occupied land and its capital, Jerusalem."

In Burj al-Barajneh Palestinian refugee camp in the southern suburbs, Hezbollah's stronghold, fighters from Palestinian factions participated in a march for the occasion, during which they raised the Palestinian, Lebanese and Iranian flags and a picture of Khamenei and Khomeini.

In the Yarmouk camp for Palestinian refugees in the southern countryside of Damascus, hundreds participated in a military parade amid damaged or destroyed homes.

On the facade of one of the damaged buildings, pictures of the late Syrian President Hafez al-Assad, his son, current President Bashar al-Assad, Khamenei, Qassem Soleimani, and a number of Palestinian leaders were raised.

The participants in the march raised several flags, especially the flags of Palestine, Hamas, Hezbollah, and other factions affiliated with Iran, and chanted, "O Jerusalem, we are coming."

Syrian, Palestinian and Iranian flags were raised on the damaged buildings that the fighters walked next to.

In Jerusalem, about 130,000 people, according to the Israeli police, and 250,000, according to the Jordanian endowment, which is responsible for Islamic institutions in the holy city, participated in Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

After the prayer, masked youths waved the flags of the Islamic movement Hamas, in addition to the flag of its military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, according to an AFP correspondent.

In Gaza, the head of the political bureau of Hamas in the Strip, Yahya Sinwar, praised Iran's support "logistically, financially, and with weapons for the Palestinian resistance," and urged Arab countries not to normalize their relations with Israel.

In a video message broadcast during a festival organized for the occasion in the Gaza Strip, Yahya Sinwar, head of the Hamas movement in the Strip, on Friday evening, on the occasion of "International Jerusalem Day," praised Iran's support for the Palestinian factions, warning the Hebrew state against "tampering" with the issue of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

During the festival, a video message was broadcast to Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi, in which he said that the normalization of relations by Arab countries with Israel "represents a betrayal of the Palestinian people and a stab in the back of the resistance and Palestine."

For his part, the Secretary-General of the Lebanese Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, said on Friday in a speech for the occasion that the recent Iranian-Saudi agreement "will slow down the path of normalization" with Israel, to which several Arab countries opened up during the last period.


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Thousands of demonstrators in Iran and Arab countries commemorate "Quds Day"