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"It is not an exclusive day for Quds itself. It is a day for the oppressed to rise and stand up against the arrogant.”
Iran is leading worldwide rallies Friday for Al-Quds day, a global day of protest against Israeli aggression against the Palestinians. The theme of this year’s demonstrations is the rejection of Donald Trump’s and Jared Kushner’s 'deal of the century' they claim will bring 'peace' to the region.
Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani, addressing protest crowds in Tehran said, "the deal of the century" would be a "bankruptcy of the century" and that Al-Quds Day is "the day the confrontation of all Muslims with the world's aggressors." He went on to say: "The event's message is that Palestine will be alive forever and al-Quds will remain for Muslims. ... We have no doubt that the ultimate victory will be for the righteous and [for] Palestine, and that the land of Palestine will be a safe place for Muslims, Christians and Jews."
Placards in Tehran read “Death to America” along with, "No to the deal of the century."
The so-called 'deal of the century' was leaked to Hebrew-language news media Israel Hayom earlier this month. The draft outlined a plan for a two-state solution that includes the creation of a 'New Palestine' that will not be allowed to have an army, Jerusalem will be Isreal's capital alone, and all illegally occupied settlements in the West Bank will officially become a part of Israel, potentially displacing some 65,000 Palestinians who currently live there.
Earlier this week, ¨Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that the 'Deal of the Century' can “go to hell.”
In Iraq, tens of thousands attended Al-Quds rallies across the country.
London is also home to some of the largest Al-Quds rallies, with attendance sometimes reaching up to 3,000. In 2012, Jeremy Corbyn, now Labour Party leader addressed the crowds that year. However, there are growing attempts to ban the marches in the English capital, with Conservative candidate for London Mayor, Shaun Bailey, saying this will be a ‘priority’ agenda item if the Tories take city hall. Although the march is set to go ahead, it has faced financial difficulties following the U.K. government’s recent ban on displays that support Hezbollah, normally a large presence at the London event.
Al-Quds day was established in 1979 by then leader of Iran, Ayatollah Komeini, who characterized the day as, “...a universal day. It is not an exclusive day for Quds itself. It is a day for the oppressed to rise and stand up against the arrogant.” Al-Quds intentionally coincides with 'Jerusalem Day' celebrations in Israel that mark the occupation of East Jerusalem following the 1967 war.