Hundreds of thousands have taken to the streets across Iran to show solidarity with the Palestinian people, and condemn Israel’s military operation in Gaza, which has already seen over 800 people dead.
According to state television, massive rallies were held in the
capital, Tehran, and most other Iranian cities to mark Jerusalem
Day – Iran’s annual day of solidarity with the Palestinian
The protesters, who had photos of Palestinian children killed by the IDF in Gaza, chanted “Death to Israel” and “Death to America.”
Washington was condemned for their support of Tel-Aviv’s actions, with American flags being burned along with the Israeli flags.
The demonstrators also carried banners, reading: “Defending Gaza and Palestine is our religious duty”.
“We are ready to sacrifice our blood” for our
Palestinian brothers and sisters, one if the rally participants
Another protestor told AFP that Palestinians must continue their struggle “until your last drop of blood. Islamic countries, especially Iran, are behind you to save you.”
The rally participants have also issued a statement, in which they deemed any peaceful dialogue with Israel as futile, because “the Zionists have always been dreaming of annihilating the identity of Palestine and the Palestinians.”
The document also urged international organizations to break their silence and prevent Israel from continuing their crimes in Gaza.
“Raise your voice. Remaining silent means allowing the Zionist regime to continue genocide of Palestinians,” it said.
The statement echoed the words of Iranian president, Hassan
Rouhani, who also slammed the West for turning a blind eye on
events in Palestine.
"The Islamic world must in unison declare this day one of anger, hatred, unity and resistance against Israel," he said at the Tehran demonstration.
Rouhani also demanded “an end to the Gaza blockade, opening the Rafah crossing (the only checkpoint on the border between Gaza and Egypt not controlled by Israel) and halting attacks on Gaza, so its people can live normally."
General Hossein Salami, second in command in Iran’s Revolutionary
Guards, urged the Palestinians to continue their struggle against
the Jewish state.
"Now no place in the occupied territories is safe for the Zionists. The missiles of Palestinian fighters have a range well beyond what the Zionists believe," he stressed.
The commander also proposed to “continue house by house and avenge the blood of martyrs shed in Palestine.”
Also on Friday, Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami told worshippers, during
Friday prayers at Tehran University, Muslims around the world
should unite against Israel.
"Pressure your governments to boycott this regime (Israel). All Muslims should join hands against this regime," Khatami is cited by Reuters.
Iran doesn’t recognize Israel and views Palestine as comprising all the Jewish state as well as the West Bank and Gaza.
Tel-Aviv and Washington have also accused the Iranian authorities of supplying arms to the Palestinian ruling Hamas movement, which is considered a terrorist organization by the US and EU.
Tehran has been always denied those claims, but Iran's parliament speaker, Ali Larijani, said that the country had provided Hamas with “the technology to manufacture arms."
"There was a time that Hamas needed the know-how ... We gave it to them and today the fighters in Gaza are capable of meeting their needs," Larijani told Iran’s al-Alam TV.
Over 800 Palestinians have been killed and thousands injured in Israeli’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, which has continued since July 8. According to the UN, 77 percent of the victims in Gaze are civilians.
On Friday, the violence has spread to the West Bank where six Palestinians have reportedly been killed and dozens wounded in clashes with Israeli forces.