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Hamas leader: Iran among front-runners in championing Palestinian cause

The head of the political bureau of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has offered his warm gratitude to Iran, saying the Islamic Republic is one of the front-runners in championing the cause of Palestine and Jerusalem al-Quds.

“Through your Excellency, I would like to send my regards to the Leader and the people of Iran and emphasize that the Islamic Republic of Iran is one of the leading countries in supporting the cause of Palestine and Holy al-Quds,” Ismail Haniyeh said in a phone call with Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.

Haniyeh pointed out that an extensive battle is ongoing for the liberation of al-Quds and said resistance is a symbol of sacredness and purity which has unified all Palestinians to support al-Quds and al-Aqsa Mosque.

“We ask God to make Islam and Muslims victorious both in Palestine and in Iran,” he added.

Velayati also thanked Palestinians for their struggle, courage, prudence and perseverance in the face of Israeli crimes, voicing hope that a meeting will be held in Iran soon after the Palestinians’ victory.

“The honorable people of Palestine have resisted the crimes of the occupying Zionist regime for more than a quarter of a century. They have fought and offered martyrs to show that they are the flag-bearers of the Islamic awakening,” said Velayati, who is also the secretary general of the World Assembly of Islamic Awakening.

On Sunday, Velayati told Ziyad al-Nakhalah, the secretary-general of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, that Iran will continue to fully support Palestine against the Israeli regime’s atrocities.

He predicted that the divine promise on the liberation of all occupied Palestinian lands and Jerusalem al-Quds will come true.

Nakhalah, for his part, hailed Ayatollah Khamenei’s brave stance on the Palestinian issue and said no other country has adopted such a position.

Tehran: ‘Legitimate resistance’ only way to fight Israeli occupation

Iran’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement, strongly condemning Israel’s incessant aerial bombardment of the Gaza Strip, which entered its second week on Monday, saying the attacks are a blatant violation of human rights, humanitarian law and international law.

“Regrettably, due to the disgraceful support of some Western states, we see that the aggression of the Zionist regime has intensified, and therefore, the Palestinian people, who are fighting to regain all their rights, have an inherent and natural right to defend themselves,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said at the beginning of his weekly press conference on Monday.

Khatibzadeh said “legitimate resistance” is the only way to counter the aggression and occupation of the Israeli regime until the steadfast nation of Palestine achieves all its rights and exercises its sovereignty over the entire land of Palestine.

He underlined that safeguarding Palestine’s rights is not an “Arab-Islamic” issue, and urged the international community to join hands with Islamic and freedom-seeking countries to stand by the brave people of Palestine against Israeli violence.

“We also call on nations, organizations and Islamic governments, especially the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), to stand in a united front with the oppressed and defenseless people of Palestine against the blatant aggression and terrorist acts of the Zionist regime’s army,” he said.

The spokesman further said Israel’s criminal activities must be recognized in the world as “genocide” and “crime against humanity”.

He added that the regime tries to foment insecurity and instability across the region to reach its evil goals, calling on the UN Security Council to pressure the illegitimate regime in Tel Aviv to end its terrorist acts against Palestinians.

In conclusion, Khatibzadeh noted that the only way to resolve the Palestinian issue is to hold a referendum in which all true citizens of Palestine, including Muslims, Christians and Jews, can vote and decide the future of their country.

Iranian officials have denounced Israel’s aerial bombardments of Gaza, which has so far killed at least 197 Palestinians, including 58 children and 34 women, and injured more than 1,200 others.

The current conflict was initially caused by confrontations in Jerusalem al-Quds, where Israeli forces and settlers attacked Palestinian worshipers at al-Aqsa Mosque, and Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, where the regime has tried to force Palestinians out of their homes to build new illegal settlements.

According to latest updates by the Gaza health ministry, Israeli assaults against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem al-Quds in the past eight days has left 21 dead and more than 4,300 others wounded.

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