THE LEVANT – Millions of people across the globe are preparing to hit the streets Friday to mark International Quds Day, an annual event expressing support for the Palestinian resistance against Israel.
This year’s protests coincide with Israel’s brutal attacks on the blockaded Gaza Strip, which entered its 18th day.
In Palestine, citizens staged a rally outside the Old City of East al-Quds Thursday to voice their anger at the recent bloodshed in Gaza, before Israeli forces clashed with the protestors, with some even being arrested.
In Syria, Palestinian refugees along with Syrians staged a sit-in to denounce the Israeli onslaught on the impoverished Gaza.
A number of Iraqi cities are also taking part in the Quds Day demonstrations to stand in solidarity with Palestine. Iraqi protestors waved flags and banners, condemning Israeli attacks and criticizing the international silence on the war in Gaza.
Millions of Iranians have taken to the streets in the capital Tehran and more than 770 other towns and cities throughout the country, to once again vent their anger at the Israeli regime’s brutal oppression of Palestinians over the past decades.
Pakistani protesters are also rallying and praying in support of Gazans during special prayers that are held in all Friday sermons at mosques across the country.
In Bahrain, the demonstrators took to streets in different cities, marking al-Quds Day.
The Bahrainis asserted their support to the Palestinians in resisting the Zionist aggression on Gaza and condemned the Arab and international silence about the Israeli atrocities.
In Lebanon, Palestinian and Hezbollah flags were raised during demonstrations on the eve of the International Quds Day to denounce Israeli crimes. In the Southern village of Marwahin bordering occupied Palestine, a scholarly solidarity vigil was held in support of Gaza in which Sunni and Shiites scholars took part.
In Beirut’s southern suburb, Hezbollah has also called for a huge ceremony celebrating the occasion Friday, where Hezbollah’s Secretary General, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah is set to deliver a speech. Hezbollah had decided to call this year’s Quds Day “Quds Day and Solidarity with Gaza: People and Resistance.”
Anti-Israeli demonstrations are also to be held in Canada, France, Italy, Spain, and Germany condemning the atrocious Israeli attacks on Gaza.
Berlin police announced their intention to strictly enforce restrictions among protesters in solidarity with Palestinians, including forbidding slogans that “incite violence” or the burning of flags or effigies.
Since the deadly Israeli war on Gaza started, the Israeli raids have killed more than 800 Palestinians, most of which are women and children, and injured more than 5,000 others so far.
The International Quds Day is held on the last Friday of the fasting month, Ramadan, and was declared in 1979, by the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.