Iranians volunteer to fight to death for Gaza

January 3, 2009

Thousands of university students wearing military fatigues march in unison in a symbolic show of readiness to engage in combat in Gaza.

Carrying placards and the flags of Iran, Hezbollah and Palestine, over 4,000 students went on a march from the former U.S. embassy in Tehran on Thursday, shouting anti-U.S. slogans and condemning the Israeli military campaign in the Gaza Strip.
“All believers in the Muslim world have a duty to defend the women, children and defenseless people of Gaza, and whoever is killed on this path of justified defense is a martyr,” read the placards, a statement made earlier by the Leader of Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.
The march toward Tehran University symbolizes that the students, among whom were both women and men, have volunteered to go to the Gaza Strip and fight until the offensive into the impoverished strip ends.
Pictures of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak were also torched during the march.
Israel has been launched large-scale air strikes on Gaza since Saturday in what is widely believed to be the most deadly attacks on the coastal strip in decades.
Israel says through its military campaign, it seeks to topple the Hamas movement, which took control of the Gaza Strip in June 2007 after winning the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) elections in January 2006.
In retaliation to the attacks on Gaza, Hamas has vowed to launch rocket strikes against Israel. Unlike the state-of-the-art weapons and ammunition Israel holds, the homemade Qassam rockets rarely cause casualties.
Six Israelis have died and 16 have become wounded since the Saturday beginning of the Israeli military campaign; nearly 2000 Gazans have been injured and at least 410 have died -- scores of whom were women and children.
According to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, at least 25 percent of the Gazans killed in the Israeli onslaught are civilians.
The UN Security Council has nevertheless failed to force an end to the Israeli attacks due to U.S. intervention and its use of veto powers against resolutions that require Tel Aviv to end the ongoing raids against the Gaza Strip.
The attacks have fueled anti-Israel and anti-U.S. sentiments in Iran. In a condolence message released on Sunday, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei denounced the Israeli crimes, describing the attacks as a “deliberate massacre” of innocent and defenseless civilians.
“What pain is greater than Muslim silence on this humanitarian tragedy?” the Leader asked, lamenting the lack of world action on the issue.
“Instead of standing up to Israeli war crimes and defending innocent Gazans, some Muslim leaders have paved the way for Tel Aviv to commit these crimes against humanity.”
According to Ayatollah Khamenei, those who masterminded the “abysmal catastrophe” should be personally tried and met with severe reprimand.
(Source: Press TV)