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April 14, 2023 9:08 am

Iranians Rally on Quds Day, An Annual Anti-Israel Hate Fest

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avatar by i24 News

Hezbollah supporters chant slogans during a mourning rally for Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, in the suburbs of the Lebanese capital of Beirut, Jan. 5, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Aziz Taher.

i24 News – Thousands of Iranians took to the streets Friday across the country to mark Quds Day, a rampant display of anti-Israeli hate.

“The Palestinians are actively confronting Israeli aggression from Gaza to the heart of Tel Aviv,” said Iranian parliament speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf. Recent weeks saw an uptick in deadly terror attacks targeting Israelis, as well as cross-border rocket fire by armed groups in the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, and Syria.

“Yesterday, they (Palestinians) were fighting with stones, and now they hit (Israel) with rockets,” Ghalibaf said in a speech in the capital Tehran.

The rallies on Quds Day – also known as Jerusalem Day, an annual fixture since Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution – are held on the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Marches were held in Tehran and other major Iranian cities including Tabriz in the northwest, Hamedan in the west, Yazd in the center, Bandar Abbas in the south, and Abadan in the southwest, according to images broadcast by state television. Similar events were held in Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank, and elsewhere across the Middle East.

“Death to Israel and to America,” protesters chanted, waving Palestinian and Iranian flags as well as those of Lebanon’s Iran-backed Shiite terror militia Hezbollah. Some banners raised by demonstrators read: “The destruction of Israel is near” and “Palestine is the axis of unity of the Muslim world.”

In central Tehran, protesters were burning U.S. and Israeli flags, as well as images of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The country’s foreign ministry posted a message about the “waning existence” of the “Zionist regime” on Twitter.

The pro-Palestinian event followed months of unrest in Iran sparked by the September death in custody of Mahsa Amini, who was killed after being arrested for an alleged breach of the Islamic Republic’s strict dress rules. Tehran has accused foreign adversaries including Israel of fomenting the ensuing protest movement.

“We have witnessed conspiracies by enemies in recent times,” Ghalibaf told the crowd in Tehran. “If it wasn’t for God’s grace and our nation’s intelligence… they would have had their dreams.”

“It shows we must act now with greater focus and try to eliminate our weak points,” he added, pointing specifically to Iran’s economy battered by years of sanctions. “Today, the most important fight of all officials is against high costs, because it is a weak point exploited by the enemy.”

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