Iran urges massive rallies on International Quds Day

June 21, 2017

TEHRAN – Iranian officials have called on people from across the world to participate in the International Quds Day rallies which are held annually on the last Friday of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

Encouraging the Iranians to attend the annual demonstrations, President Hassan Rouhani said the Palestinian cause will not sink into oblivion.

Rouhani noted that conflicts within the Muslim world would only benefit the Zionist regime and terrorism. “In order to curb Zionism and terrorism in the region, the unity of the Islamic world must be reinforced,” he asserted.

The International Quds Day was initiated by the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979 to express solidarity with Palestinians and oppose the Zionist regime.

Rallies are held each year in various cities around the world by both Muslims and non-Muslim communities. Many Jewish people also attend the rallies in order to draw a line between being anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.

Days before the demonstrations, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran issued a statement describing Quds as an important piece of Islam. The statement calls on all Muslims across the world to attend the rallies to condemn Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands and its atrocities against the people.

Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan has also said that Israel is the main source of problems in the Muslim world, noting that “a world without violence is a world without the Zionist regime.”

Millions of people across Iran and other countries are expected to take part in this year’s demonstrations which will be held on Friday, June 23. The event has been brought into media attention by pro-Palestinian groups who have called for a high turnout.

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, or the BDS, is among the top pro-Palestinian groups that is actively campaigning in various countries against Israeli regime’s behavior.

According to Tasnim news agency, the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has called for a huge turnout in the Friday demonstrations to condemn Israel’s aggression against Palestine and its sanctities.

Tensions between Palestinians and the Zionist regime have surged in the aftermath of new restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshippers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem (al-Quds) in August 2015.

Over 300 Palestinians have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces since the beginning of the tensions in October 2015.

Days before the event, a large number of protesters already took to the streets of London to mark Quds Day and express their support for the Palestinian people.

Held on Sunday, the Quds Day demonstrations in London saw people from all walks of life marching down Regent Street before gathering at the junction with Oxford Street. 

Calls for boycotting Israel – a trend that has been promoted by pro-Palestinian activists for years – remained the main theme of the protest. Londoners carried signs that read “Boycott Israel”, “Freedom for Palestine” and “Zionism = racism”. The protesters also chanted “Free Palestine”.

MH/PA

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