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Prominent Palestinian figures in Gaza reflect on importance of International Quds Day

Prominent Palestinian figures based in the besieged Gaza Strip have reiterated the importance of the International Quds Day ceremonies in promoting the cause of Palestine and paving the way for the restoration of the Palestinians’ rights in a series of exclusive interviews with Press TV.

Dr. Ismael Radwan, a senior Hamas official, hailed the late founder of the Islamic Republic Imam Khomeini for designating the historic event shortly after the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

“We wish to salute Tehran and salute the soul of Imam Khomeini who designated the last Friday of the Holy Month of Ramadan as International Quds Day because Jerusalem al-Quds has been turned into the axis of struggle with the axis of evil in the region which is the Zionist occupation.”

This year’s Quds Day is very important especially with the ongoing conflict with the Zionist entity and US President Donald Trump’s ‘deal of the century,’ which recognized Jerusalem al-Quds as the ‘capital’ of Israel, Radwan said.

“On the occasion of the International Quds Day we call on everyone to mark it despite the coronavirus pandemic while keeping in mind all safety and health precautions to assert that Jerusalem al-Quds was and will remain the undivided capital of the Palestinian people and it will always be in our hearts and that the occupation will one day come to an end.”

Hani al-Thawabatah, a senior official with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), said Palestine should “receive international attention, Islamic attention, and Arab attention in light of the daily attacks it faces and the continuous occupation of its sanctuaries and everything related to its historical heritage.”

“The International Quds Day comes within the framework of solidarity announced in the Islamic Republic of Iran by Imam Khomeini four decades ago, as an affirmation of the identity of Jerusalem al-Quds as it is the capital of the hearts of all the free people of the world.”

He also voiced concern that the holy Palestinian city is “subject to Judaization and has been exposed to all forms of abuse and to all forms of confiscation to its homes, its history, its culture, and its heritage.”

Khader Habib, a senior official with the Islamic Jihad resistance movement, said the “International Quds Day comes every year to confirm our clear and unwavering adherence to Palestine, Jerusalem al-Quds, the al-Aqsa Mosque.”

“Jerusalem al-Quds is occupied but, God willing, it will be liberated, and we pray to God Almighty that this matter is very near because of the efforts of the Palestinian people who are spearheading this struggle in addition to all the free people of the world including the Arab and Islamic nations.”

Talal Abu-Zarifa, a senior official with the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), said the issue of Palestine and Jerusalem was considered a priority for Iranian politics following the victory of the Revolution.

“We consider this a victory for the rights of our people and a continuation to affirm Iran’s standing with the rights of our Palestinian people, foremost of which is Jerusalem al-Quds, the capital of the state of Palestine.”

“This is an affirmation that Jerusalem al-Quds is an integral part of the Palestinian territories and that there is depth to the issue of Jerusalem al-Quds and the question of Palestine, whether in the Arab world or the Islamic world.”

Dr. Nael Abu-Odah, a leader of the Mujahidin Movement, said the day was declared by Imam Khomeini as an affirmation that the real compass must point towards the liberation of Jerusalem al-Quds and towards the liberation of Palestine.

“International Quds Day is a historic day not only for Palestine but for all the Arab and Islamic nations. International Quds Day is a reminder to the Islamic nation that the core of the global conflict is liberation of Jerusalem al-Quds and Palestine.”

Pro-Palestine activists in Iran and elsewhere are to replace street rallies with online events to commemorate this year’s International Quds Day, in the time of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The International Quds Day is seen as the legacy of Imam Khomeini, who is revered as a spiritual leader by Muslims across the world. In 1979, shortly after leading the Islamic Revolution, which toppled the US-backed Shah of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini named the last Friday of the fasting month of Ramadan as the Quds Day.

Every year on this day, worldwide rallies are held to commemorate the Palestinian people’s resistance against Israel and their struggle to liberate their homeland.

The annual event is seen as an opportunity for freedom-seeking people across the world, regardless of faith, to voice their support for the cause of Palestine and vent their anger against the apartheid regime of Israel, which has occupied Palestinian territories since 1967.

In January, the Trump administration unveiled his self-proclaimed ‘deal of the century’ with the aim of legitimizing Israel’s occupation and re-drawing the map of West Asia.

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.

The Israeli regime has also been facing isolation globally. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is one of the popular campaigns launched against Israel in an effort to force the regime to comply with international law and the rights of Palestinians.

Many universities, trade unions and organizations as well as human rights groups in Europe and North America have been joining the campaign in recent years.

The BDS is similar to the earlier boycotts of South Africa during its apartheid era and is aimed at piling up economic pressure on Israel by boycotting Israeli products and companies.

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