International Quds DayIranPalestine

2020 Intl. Quds Day events to go virtual as COVID-19 rages

Pro-Palestine activists in Iran and elsewhere are making plans to replace street rallies with online events to commemorate this year’s International Quds Day as a deadly coronavirus pandemic has restricted social life and mass gatherings across the globe.

The International Quds Day is a legacy of the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini, who designated the day in solidarity with Palestinians.

Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, the International Quds Day has been held worldwide on the last Friday of the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

Nosratollah Lotfi, the deputy chief of the Coordinating Council of Iran’s Islamic Propagation Organization, said the Quds Day will be marked differently in the areas designated as white, yellow and red based on the number of COVID-19 infections and fatalities.

There are three plans for the occasion: the first is holding demonstrations after Friday prayers in the cities which obtain the permission and the second involves families rallying in their cars while observing social distancing guidelines, he said.

The third option, he added, is staging a virtual rally carrying the flags of Palestine and torching the US and Israeli flags.

Separately, Brigadier General Ramezan Sharif, spokesman for Iran’s elite Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), announced that Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei will deliver a speech on the occasion of the International Quds Day, which falls on May 22.

Sharif, who is also the chairman of Intifada (Uprising) and Quds Department of the Coordinating Council of the Islamic Propagation Organization, said it was “very likely” that the capital Tehran would not be able to host this year’s demonstration.

“There are other ways through which the Quds Day can be honored on the national and international stage,” he noted. “We can properly use the potential offered by the cyberspace in this regard.”

Meanwhile, the UK-based Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) said that it will be taking part in the #FlyTheFlag campaign with an online rally on YouTube and Facebook scheduled on May 22 at 4-6 p.m. GMT.

“To mark the occasion this year, the Justice for Palestine Committee will be streaming messages from a wide array of community leaders, activists and public figures. The online event will also include presentations reminding people of the Palestinians’ plight,” the IHRC said on its website.

This year’s Quds Day is of special importance given US President Donald Trump’s pro-Israel polices that have emboldened the Tel Aviv regime.

In January, Trump unveiled his self-proclaimed “deal of the century” with the aim of legitimizing Israel’s occupation and re-drawing the Middle East map.

The scheme calls for the creation of a Palestinian state with limited control over its own security and borders. It also bars Palestinian refugees from returning to their homeland, enshrines Jerusalem al-Quds as “Israel’s undivided capital” and allows the regime to annex settlements and the Jordan Valley.

Last year’s Quds Day was observed under the slogan “Resistance will Triumph” against Trump’s pro-Zionist measures, including his controversial recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as the “capital” of Israel in 2017.

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