Al-Quds Day: Rallying for liberation of Palestine

TEHRAN, Jun. 09 (MNA) – In an extraordinary show of support and solidarity with the oppressed people of Palestine, tens of thousands of people poured into the streets of Tehran on Friday to mark the International Quds Day.

In an extraordinary show of support and solidarity with the oppressed people of Palestine, tens of thousands of people poured into the streets of Tehran on Friday to mark the International Quds Day.

Braving intense heat, the demonstrators marched on a long stretch from Hafez Avenue to Enghelab Square, briefly stopping at the Tehran University campus to offer congregational Friday prayers.

Holding placards and chanting vociferous slogans, the demonstrators – men and women, young and old – strongly condemned the horrendous war crimes of Israel in Palestine and called for an unconditional withdrawal of Israelis from the occupied territories of Palestine, return of Palestinians who were forced to leave their land after the 1948 Nakba, complete ban on the construction of new settlements and immediate evacuation of existing illegal settlements.

The demonstrators chanted ‘Death to Israel’ and ‘Death to America’ and blamed these two entities for instability and chaos in the region. “Zionism and imperialism are responsible for everything that is wrong in our region today,” said Ali Reza, a protestor. “It is incumbent on us, as the conscientious people, to condemn the barbarism of Israel in Gaza and West Bank and call for the liberation of Al-Quds. Those who chose to be silent are complicit in the genocide of Palestinians.”
The demonstrators also denounced the decision of Trump administration to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, terming it ‘provocative and foolhardy’. The liberation of Al-Quds, they reiterated, remains the ‘top priority’ for the Muslim world.

A symbolic coffin of Israel was carried out in the rally, with a message that the days of Zionism were numbered.

Many foreign nationals also took part in the rally including those from Nigeria, Yemen, Iraq, Kashmir, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Pictures of Nigeria’s incarcerated leader Sheikh Zakzaky, Yemen’s Houthi movement leader Abdel-Malek al-Houthi, leader of Hezbollah Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and ‘Free Kashmir’ posters were also seen in the rally.

Similar demonstrations were held in other cities of Iran, which saw tremendous participation of people, according to sources. Outside Iran, massive Al-Quds rallies were taken out in UK, Australia, Canada, United States, India, Pakistan, Kashmir, Lebanon, Iraq etc.

In his Al-Quds Day message, posted on Twitter, the Supreme Leader said the “tragic story of Palestine” can move any justice-seeking individual. “The massacre of women, children and infants; destruction of houses; blockade of food and medicine, and other crimes committed by Zionists proves that the barbaric instincts of the illegitimate Israeli regime have not only not changed over the past 70 years but become more grave.” He asked the Arab youth to “be prepared for a tomorrow when your countries are free, independent and developed” and “be sure about God’s promise of victory”.

On Thursday night, President Hassan Rouhani had also issued a statement, calling on Iranians to participate in Al-Quds Day rallies in large numbers. “Quds Day is a historic day when everybody protests against tyrants and voices support for the oppressed people who have been displaced from their homes during the past 70 years,” he said, adding that this year’s Quds Day was ‘special’. “In addition to being the 70th anniversary of Palestinian land, we are witnessing that Bayt-al-Muqaddas, which is respected by all the Muslims, has been announced as the capital of the occupying Zionist regime by the United States in violation of all international norms. This year we are witnessing more tyranny and crimes against the oppressed people of Palestine, especially the residents of Gaza.”

For the campaigners of truth and justice, International Al-Quds Day has an extraordinary historical and contemporary significance. Al-Quds, which stands for Jerusalem in Arabic, is an affirmation of solidarity with the oppressed and subjugated people of Palestine in their struggle for the liberation of Jerusalem, the third holiest sanctuary for Muslims. “It is an expression of unwavering commitment to end the Zionist regime’s horrendous war crimes in the occupied territories of Palestine,” says Dr. Mohammad Hanifi, Tehran-based political commentator.

Al-Quds Day was first observed in 1979 in Iran by Imam Khomeini, the chief architect of the Islamic revolution, soon after the revolution. Since then, the day is being observed across the world every year on the last Friday (jumatul wida) of Ramadan to express solidarity with Palestinians and to protest the Zionist entity’s illegal occupation of Jerusalem. It also calls for the political unification of Muslims, cutting across ideological lines, for the cause of justice and righteousness. Each year, Al-Quds Day demonstrations are held in more than 80 countries across the world.

“The holy month of Ramadan granted Muslims a historic victory in the Battle of Badr. It is the month in which the holy city of Mecca was conquered and cleared of idol worshippers (mushrikeen). It is the month in which all the Abrahamic scriptures, including the Holy Quran, were revealed. It is the spirit of this month that inspired our brave forefathers to struggle in the way of Allah and overcome insurmountable odds,” says Mazhar Hussain, a writer and analyst. “So it is highly appropriate that the last Friday of this blessed month is dedicated to the struggle of Palestinians and all other oppressed people of the world.”

The idea of Al-Quds Day solidarity rallies was conceived by Imam Khomeini, who appealed to the Muslims across the world to extend moral support to their brethren in Palestine. In August 1979, Imam declared the liberation of Jerusalem ‘a religious duty of all Muslims’. “I invite Muslims all over the globe to observe the last Friday of Ramadan as Al-Quds Day, and to pledge support and solidarity to the people of Palestine and their legitimate rights. I ask all the Muslims of the world and the Muslim governments to join hands and sever the hand of this usurper and its supporters,” he said.

Al-Quds Day has a major influence on the issue of Palestine and prevents it from sliding into oblivion, believe observers. “Al-Quds rallies seek to raise awareness about the plight of Palestinians and the atrocities unleashed on them by the Zionist state,” says Zahra Moosavi, a student at Tehran University.

During the first Palestinian Intifada in January 1988, the Jerusalem Committee of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) declared that the Al-Quds Day be observed publicly throughout the Arab world. Its official endorsement was significant as some Arab countries that had strategic ties with Israel felt isolated. Some of them, quite brazenly, still have overt and covert ties with the Zionist regime.  

It is also a day to remember people in other occupied lands, who are crushed by strong military powers. “The Al-Quds Day is a universal day. It is not an exclusive day for Quds (Jerusalem). It is a day for the oppressed and the supporters of oppressed to rise and stand up against the arrogant oppressors,” Imam said, in unequivocal terms.

Every year, on the Al-Quds Day, hundreds of people pour into the narrow streets of Gaza to protest the Israeli occupation of Palestine. The officials and activists of various resistance groups based in Palestine also take part in these public gatherings. Massive rallies are also taken out in Europe, North America, Asia and Africa, in which protestors burn blue and white Israeli flags and chant slogans like ‘Death to Israel’, ‘Israel Your Days Are Numbered’, ‘Zionism Must Go’ and ‘From River to Sea Palestine Will Be Free’.

The unrelenting injustices perpetrated against the Palestinian people have stirred the conscience of people worldwide, transcending the religious divide. The international community deems Israel’s presence in Gaza and West Bank as “illegal occupation”. Many anti-Zionist Jews and Christians actively take part in annual Al-Quds Day rallies now, primarily because these rallies are not against the Jews, but against the Zionists, they say.  

On the other hand, some Arab monarchies and puppet Muslim regimes, that suck up to Israel and America while claiming to represent Muslims, stand exposed, says Ibn Hassan, a research scholar at Tehran University. “They are, in reality, the local custodians of Zionism and imperialism, and it is incumbent on those fighting for the cause of Palestine, to raise their voice against these puppets as well,” he says.

It is pertinent to mention that more than half a million Israelis occupy over 120 illegal settlements built since 1967. These settlements blatantly violate the Hague and Geneva Conventions, threaten Al-Aqsa Mosque and violate the sanctity of the sacred Islamic sites.

MNA/TT

News Code 134659

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