(Reuters) – Iranians took part in huge rallies across the country on Friday to show solidarity with Palestinians, urging them to keep up their struggle despite the Israeli assault on Gaza, Iranian state television reported.
Footage showed hundreds of thousands of people demonstrating in the capital Tehran. They chanted “Death to Israel” and “Death to America” and carried pictures of Palestinian children killed in Gaza.
State media said “millions” of people joined the rallies nationwide, which were called to mark Iran’s annual day of solidarity with Palestinians.
The Iranian government has condemned Israel’s offensive against Gaza, which has killed more than 800 people, most of them civilians. It has also expressed support for the Islamist group Hamas, which rules Gaza.
They carried banners reading “Defending Gaza and Palestine is our religious duty”…
* * *
No surprises here. This is “al-Quds” day. See also report at the Times of Israel:
“The Islamic world must in unison declare this day one of anger, hatred, unity and resistance against Israel,” President Hassan Rouhani said at the Tehran demonstration.
Rouhani, who has overseen a fledgling rapprochement with the West, condemned “those who stay silent in the face of the Zionist regime’s crimes.
“The world demands an end to the Gaza blockade, opening the Rafah crossing and halting attacks on Gaza so its people can live normally,” he said.
He was referring to the demands of Hamas for any truce with Israel to end the deadly violence. The Rafah Border Crossing between Gaza and Egypt is the territory’s only one not controlled by Israel. The blockade is maintained by Israel and Egypt to prevent Hamas smuggling in weaponry.