Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei yesterday called Israel “not a country, but a terrorist base” during a speech on Al-Quds Day, an annual show of solidarity with the Palestinians. Thousands massed for rallies in support of Palestinians across several countries including Iraq, Yemen and Pakistan for the day.
Tensions have been running high between Iran and Israel following a series of maritime attacks, an explosion at an Iranian nuclear facility and the assassination of a top nuclear scientist that Tehran blamed on Israel. The Islamic republic does not recognise the Jewish state, and supports the Palestinian cause.
“Israel is not a country, but a terrorist base against the nation of Palestine and other Muslim nations,” Khamenei said in live televised remarks. “Fighting this despotic regime is fighting oppression and terrorism, and (doing so) is everyone’s duty,” he added, calling on Palestinians to continue their resistance and for Muslim governments to support them. “The decline of the enemy Zionist regime has begun and will not stop.”
Elsewhere in the region, thousands of Yemenis flooded the streets of the capital Sanaa, some carrying signs saying, “Death to American, Death to Israel”.
In the Iraqi holy city of Najaf, protesters torched paper replicas of Israeli flags and trampled an American one.
At a rally in the Pakistani city of Karachi, protesters held up cardboard signs that read “We will wipe out Israel” as they took part in Al-Quds Day.
Al-Quds Day has been held annually on the last Friday of the holy fasting month of Ramadan since the early days of Iran’s Islamic revolution. This year nationwide rallies were absent due to Covid-19 restrictions.
But state TV showed the burning of flags by small groups of demonstrators who it said had come out “spontaneously” for the occasion, while an AFP journalist said protesters also rallied on motorbikes in Tehran.
Khamenei’s comments came amid a rise in violence in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and as tensions have soared in annexed east Jerusalem over an eviction threat hanging over four Palestinian families.
Israeli security forces killed two Palestinians and critically wounded a third in West Bank yesterday. Police and protesters have clashed in recent days in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of east Jerusalem, fuelled by a years-long land dispute between Palestinian refugees and Jewish settlers.
The latest violence came as Palestinians flocked to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in east Jerusalem for the last Friday prayers of Ramadan. The United Nations called on Israel to end any forced evictions in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, warning that its actions could amount to “war crimes”.
In 2018, Khamenei reiterated Tehran’s position that Israel is a “malignant cancerous tumour” that must “be removed and eradicated”.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
Omani Ministry of Health records 2529 new cases of coronavirus, 31 deaths
Syria regime shelling on Idlib kills 9
Key road reopened ahead of peace talks: Libya PM
Israeli Police detain 11 Palestinians in 1948 territories
Raisi wins Iran presidential vote
Iran's Raisi elected president with about 62% of vote
Oman to reimpose nightly curfew following spike in Covid-19 cases
Ultraconservative Raisi elected Iran president as rivals concede
Palestinians cancel deal for near-expired Covid vaccines from Israel