News / Middle East

    Iranians Gives Gazans Huge Show of Support

    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, center, joins an annual nationwide pro-Palestinian rally known as Quds (Jerusalem) Day, in Tehran July 25, 2014.
    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, center, joins an annual nationwide pro-Palestinian rally known as Quds (Jerusalem) Day, in Tehran July 25, 2014.
    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, along with banners reading “Defending Gaza and Palestine is our religious duty.”

    State media said “millions” of people joined the rallies nationwide, called to mark Iran's annual day of solidarity with Palestinians, al-Quds Day, on the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Quds is the Arabic word for Jerusalem, one of the most important cities in the Muslim faith.

    Iran’s late spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, had decreed the annual commemoration of struggle against Israel and for the city’s liberation.

    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.

     “We are ready to support our Palestinian brothers and sisters in Gaza. We are ready to sacrifice our blood for them,” a man in his 40s told state television in the southern city of Zahedan.

    People condemned U.S. support for Israel and burned U.S. and Israeli flags. State television said they also criticized foreign governments, who they said had remained silent about Israel's “crimes against humanity.”

    “Raise your voice. Remaining silent means allowing the Zionist regime [Israel] to continue genocide of Palestinians,” said a statement read at the Qods Day rally, broadcast live on state TV.

    ‘Boycott this regime’

    Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami told worshippers at Friday prayers at Tehran University that Muslims around the world should unite against Israel.

    “Pressure your governments to boycott this regime,” he said of Israel. “All Muslims should join hands against this regime.”

    Iran regards Palestine as comprising all of the Jewish state, which it does not recognize, as well as the West Bank and Gaza.

    Israel and the United States have long accused Iran of supplying arms to Hamas, considered by Washington and the European Union as a terrorist group. Tehran says it gives moral, financial and humanitarian support.

    However, Iran's parliament speaker Ali Larijani on Thursday said Tehran had provided Hamas with “the technology to manufacture arms.”

    “There was a time that Hamas needed the know-how ... We gave it to them and today the fighters in Gaza are capable of meeting their needs,”  Larijani told Iran's Arabic language al-Alam TV.

    Some information for this report provided by the Associated Press.

    You May Like

    Vietnam Urges US to Lift Lethal Weapons Ban Amid S. China Sea Tensions

    US president’s upcoming visit to Vietnam underscores strength of relationship, and lifting embargo would reflect that trust, ambassador says

    Are US Schools Turning a Blind Eye to Radical Qatari Preachers?

    Parade of radical Islamist clerics using mosque at Qatar’s Education City draws mounting criticism for American universities that maintain satellite branches there

    Why Islamic State Is Down But Not Out

    Despite loss of territory, group’s ferocious attacks over past three months seen as testimony to its continued durability and resourcefulness

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Siroos Bavarsagh from: Glasgow
    July 26, 2014 6:07 AM
    Gazans maybe a terrorist group but Israel is just as bad if not worst..
    So if you support either one group you are just as bad a being as it gets...
    Remember fueling the fire is the solution so be the solution do what bbc or cnn does may not tell the truth but doesn't lie...

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    July 25, 2014 1:59 PM
    Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini instituted a day of claiming another country and rendering its people homeless. The whole of the islamist world accept this as a good thing and so imbibe it in their religion. That is unfortunate. But the message here is unless that decree is repealed, there is not going to be peace in the world. By one decree of a satanic image the Palestinians have lost their sense of peace with neighbor, it needs a redirection by a man of peace, maybe from Saudi Arabia, to denounce that and repeal the decree. Unfortunately these peoples agree in nothing else but evil. Thus even in their schools the seed of hate doctrine is sowed. ,Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami - the same Khatami that the world pleaded for his release when (the Iranian authorities under Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad imprisoned?) here epitomizes the seed of discord rather than show the light which education should bring out in him. Rather than give direction to better the future of the youth, he has become a waste like refuse stinking to the younger generation to mislead it and jeopardize its future. Wonders shall never end! See that it was a tremendous mistake that the world cried out for his release, fundamentally flawed to have pleaded he be given justice, the same refuses Jews justice and peace. Thus when Rouhani purportedly extended greetings to the Jews, he was not wishing them peace but he had in mind a prey while playing to the gallery. Why do Iranians not mind their own business? Why do they celebrate Jerusalem instead of Tehran? Do they all want to relocate to Jerusalem? No wonder ISIS wants to destroy every artifact/relic that might keep the remembrance of Iran alive. This is a call to Rouhani and Khamenei to show the world that they can work for world peace by repealing that obnoxious decree that pivots unrest and anchors disunity in the world. From it the world can measure how truly peaceful Iran's nuclear program will be. This alone will not be all that is needed for world peace, but little drops of water make a mighty ocean.

    by: Not Again from: Canada
    July 25, 2014 12:25 PM
    As everyone surmized, for sometime, Hamas is an Iranian proxi-force; much like Hezbollah, the Houttie and so on. In essence Iran has been attacking, through its proxi Hamas, Israel for years. No wonder Hamas is not interested in a ceasefire; their interests are to project Iran's needs, not the interests of the Palestinians in Gaza.

    For this very reason Hamas has spent billions in building hundredths of underground bunkers, terror tunnels into Israel, and getting tens of tons of precursors to build armaments, instead of using the resources to better the lives of ordinary normal Gaza Palestinians. Hamas has had very little difficulty in getting more sophisticated projectiles/rockets, of very long range, into Gaza; so much for their great condemnation of the "Israeli blockade", the blockade is quite porous to ammunition, weapons, precursors, but when it comes to the necessities of life not so much.

    It is not the blockade that hurts ordinary Palestinians in Gaza, but it is the fact that after Hamas allocates resources to armaments, not much is left for basic needs. The power shortages, that are voiced by Hamas, they are caused because most of the power is absorbed by the underground armament industry, the ventilation systems in the terror tunnels, and the underground bunkers of the Hamas leaders.

    The results of the Hamas armaments industry are most clearly evident = 2500+ rockets/projectiles fired at Israel in the last 18 days, and over 400 rockets/projectiles in the last 3 month before that. Little by little a clearer picture of Hamas is emerging, and it is not at all in any way related to making life better for ordinary Gaza Palestinians. Potentially? as the Israeli Defence Forces degrade Hamas, it maybe more willing to proceed with a ceasefire.

    Let us hope that Secretary Kerry gets more traction on the ceasefire, which he has tried to establish for weeks. This third war, started by Hamas, is a totally needless war, and it runs on the suffering of civilians on both sides of the conflict.
    In Response

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    July 25, 2014 1:28 PM
    The Israelis use their money to provide protection for the civilian population; the Palestinians (don't think it's only those in Gaza wanting Israel out of the way - it is a collective arrangement just as Hezbollah in Lebanon is funded to make trouble with Israel ceaselessly) prefer to spend their money in trouble making and protecting troublemakers whom they use to provoke fight with Israel. Israel has suffered far less civilian casualties because its bunkers protect the civilians, while the Palestinian civilians are used as shield for the fighting lot. The ratio of Palestinian civilian losses to that of Israel is not a function of who wants to kill civilians but who loves its civilians and wants them protected. Ceasefire should be out of the question for now. If Israel does its job well, there will be a ceasefire not asked for but one observed because there are no more fighters to foment trouble - Iran or no Iran to send in more sophisticated arms. Israel should not behave as if it is the one in need of it. If Hamas feels pressed to the wall, then let it ask for ceasefire. But Israel must tighten the sea route blockade (possibly Iran or its oga Russia supplies Hamas weapons by submarines) if it wants the Project Gaza to be effective.

    by: Angela from: Brasil
    July 25, 2014 11:49 AM
    Where is the palestinian soldiers? I recognized the Israel soldier is fightining and protected their people. But I can noticed where is the palestinian soldier, they need to fight to protect their people. I'm so sorry for this terrible war!.

    In Response

    by: meanbill from: USA
    July 25, 2014 12:32 PM
    Hamas is the military wing and police of the Gaza Palestinians..... and the Palestinian police in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, are controlled by the occupying Israeli government, and have no authority whatsoever, unless it's provided to them by Israel to stop Palestinian riots, and other Palestinian protests.... The Palestinians, (are Israeli apartheid occupied people), with no state or country of their own.... and only live in the Israeli occupied Palestinian TERRITORIES.......

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroadi
    X
    May 02, 2016 1:36 PM
    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora