Mass marches in Iran blast ‘Zionist atrocities’ on Quds Day
By Jamie León
Tehran, Apr 14 (EFE).- Thousands marched in Iran in solidarity with Palestine on Friday as tensions with Israel simmered in the region.
A huge crowd marched through the streets of Tehran, near the University, where chants condemning Israeli “crimes” and cries declaring “we will take back Jerusalem” echoed.
Women dressed in chadors, a black garment that covers the entire body except for the face, filled the streets of the capital, where 10 demonstrations were organized and which saw military personnel also taking part.
Protesters in 900 cities marked the so-called Quds Day, which was established in 1979 by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to demand the liberation of Palestine and the fall of Israel.
The day is observed on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan.
“The cause of Palestine lives on. The support is not only confined to Muslims but has support from all freedom seekers in the world,” parliament speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf said in a speech to protesters in Tehran.
Qalibaf described “the Zionist regime” as the “number one enemy of Islam and humanity.”
“Palestinians face Israel’s crimes and, where before they fought with stones, they now fight with rockets,” the conservative politician added.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi also joined the Tehran marches after expressing great concern over developments in Palestine in a telephone conversation with Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday.
During the meeting, Raisi called for a united Islamic front to “prevent the continuation of the Zionist atrocities.”
It is not the first time Raisi has rallied Muslim allies and has in recent weeks pitched the idea of a Muslim front to Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Indonesian president Joko Widodo, and Syria’s leader Bashar al-Assad.
Tensions in Jerusalem have mounted in recent weeks with bloody clashes between Israeli authorities and Palestinian Muslims at the Al Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan prayers.
The crisis has spilled over into other areas beyond Jerusalem with clashes between the Israeli army and Palestinians and pro-Palestinian militias in the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, and Syria.
Israel has fired missiles at Syria four times in the last two weeks, according to Damascus authorities.
The attacks killed two advisers of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, according to Mehr news agency.
Iran’s elite military corps has vowed to avenge Israel’s attack.
Israel frequently attacks targets in Syria to stop the entrenchment of Lebanese and Iranian armed groups allied to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the neighboring country.
Iran and Israel have long waged a covert war that has intensified in recent months. EFE