Senior religious and political figures in the Arab world slam Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands and support the struggle of the people of Palestine to liberate their lands.
A senior leader of the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement warned the Tel Aviv regime of serious negative repercussions in case Israeli officials commit an act of folly against the sacred al-Aqsa Mosque in the occupied Old City of Jerusalem al-Quds.
“The Palestinian nation and the people of al-Quds (Jerusalem) are defending their faith in the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Holy City. We warn the Zionists against committing any stupid move concerning al-Aqsa Mosque,” Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas Political Bureau Chief, said during a speech he delivered via video link on Wednesday ahead of the International Quds Day, which falls on May 22 this year.
The International Quds Day is a legacy of the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini, who designated the day in solidarity with Palestinians.
Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, the event has been held worldwide on the last Friday of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
Hanyieh then called for a comprehensive measure in the face of the controversial plan laid out by US President Donald Trump on the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict, dubbed ‘deal of century.’
The top Hamas leader underlined that Trump’s proposed plan is based on the liquidation of the Palestinian cause, Jerusalem al-Quds in particular, and seeks to abolish the Palestinian right of return.
Haniyeh further highlighted that Jerusalem al-Quds is now suffering one of its most dangerous stages.
“Today, we are facing a big and dangerous challenge, especially that the new Israeli cabinet has opted to annex parts of the West Bank, expropriate al-Quds (Jerualem), and change the features of the sacred al-Aqsa Mosque.
“We will finally liberate al-Aqsa mosque from the grip of the Israeli occupation. Al-Quds is the capital of the State of Palestine,” he said.
Haniyeh also thanked the Islamic Republic of Iran for its strong and unwavering support for the resistance of Palestinian people against Israeli regime.
“Iran has not hesitated to support the resistance through all means. We salute the Islamic Republic for its support for the Palestinian cause, and we salute (late) Imam Khomeini, who designated the International Quds Day.
Israeli occupation epidemic more dangerous than coronavirus
Separately, the Archbishop of Sebastia from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem al-Quds, Atallah Hanna, described the Israeli regime’s occupation of Palestinian lands more dangerous than the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“Al-Quds must be liberated, and we call for the frustration of all plots and conspiracies against our holy city in particular, and the Palestinian cause in general. Al-Quds is an issue that directly concerns both Christians and Muslims worldwide,” he said.
The Palestinian Christian leader stressed, “The Zionists attack al-Quds on daily basis and every hour. The Israelis seek to undermine its history and identity. There is no dignity for the Palestinian nation without al-Quds.”
International Quds Day an eternal and historic event
Sheikh Abdul-Latif al-Hamim, head of the Sunni Endowment of Iraq, also hailed the International Quds Day as an eternal and historic event, stating that the Israeli regime is sponsoring terrorism in the Middle East region in a bid to divert public attention away from its crimes against Palestinians.
“We confront the Occupier with determination and resolve, because al-Quds will not return to us by any means other than resistance. We reiterate it will not be a memory of the past.
“Nobody can think of buying or selling al-Quds, and no one can think the path to its liberation is closed,” he said.
Al-Hamim also denounced efforts by a number of Arab states to normalize ties with the Israeli regime, noting, “I would like to emphasize that normalization with the Zionist regime is Haram [religiously forbidden], because it presents a betrayal of the Muslim Ummah’s principles.”
International Quds Day very vital to safeguard Palestinian nation, unity
Furthermore, Bahrain's most prominent Shia cleric Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim said the International Quds Day is highly essential in order to safeguard the Palestinian nation and its unity, emphasizing that the event is a day of Islamic awakening.
He added that the Israeli regime is trying to impose its wills on Muslim nations through establishment of relations with some Arab states.
“The Bahraini nation stands with the Palestinian resistance movements in the face of the Occupation (Israel). The Bahraini people have opposed the enemies of Islam throughout history,” the top Bahraini clergyman said.
Blood of resistance fighters will foil US, Israeli plots
Additionally, Qais al-Khazali, the leader of Iraq's Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq movement, said the blood of anti-Israel resistance fighters will thwart plots hatched by the United States and Israel, and undermine their interests.
“The aggressive Israeli regime is not only harmful to Palestine and the Palestinian people, but also to the entire Arab and Muslim world.
“Imam Khomeini's designation of the International Quds Day is a renewal of the Palestinian cause and a reminder to the entire world about it,” he said.
Khazali noted that the January 3 assassination of Iran's top military commander, Lt. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, and the second-in-command of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, by a US drone strike near Baghdad International Airport was an Israeli decision indeed.
“Ending the US military presence in Iraq and the region is an imperative issue. Moreover, ending the Israeli occupation of Arab lands is inevitable,” he said.
All forms of normalization with Israeli enemy forbidden
The leader of Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement, Abdul-Malik Badreddin al-Houthi, also censured all forms of normalization with the Israeli regime, describing such attempts as prohibited by Islam.
“The main reason behind the assassination of Lt. Gen. Soleimani was due to his role in confronting the Israeli enemy and the US hegemony, besides his support for the peoples of the region,” he said.
Houthi noted that the International Quds Day paves the way for the final liberation of Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories.
“The Zionist regime is the main source of instability and insecurity in the world. Palestinians are suffering from various and continuous crimes being perpetrated by the Israeli regime,” the Ansarullah chief said.
Houthi stressed that the Yemeni nation stands with Palestinians against the Israeli occupation.
Quds Day shows highest level of unity among Muslims
For his part, Secretary General of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad resistance movement Ziad al-Nakhala hailed the International Quds Day as an event, which presents the highest level of unity in the Muslim world.
“Imam Khomeini’s designation of International Quds Day is aimed at popular Palestinian uprising and its unity in face of Israel. The governments that prevent their nations from observing the event under the pretext that it is an Iranian occasion want to give up al-Quds in favor of Israel,” Nakhala highlighted.
“Al-Quds is the capital of the Muslim world. Victory over occupier can only be achieved through the unity of Muslims worldwide,” he said.
We are closer than ever to al-Quds liberation
Finally, the secretary general of Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement has lauded the International Quds Day as a great legacy of Imam Khomeini, saying the liberation of Jerusalem al-Quds has now become a reality.
“Because of the faith, steadfastness, patience, honesty, sincerity and communication between countries and resistance movement, we are closer than ever to the liberation of al-Quds,” Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said.
“This year, we miss the martyr of al-Quds, Hajj Qassem Soleimani, who was a major pillar of resistance in the region. We will thread his path and vow to achieve his aspirations, irrespective of all psychological campaigns, sanctions, and restrictions,” he noted.
“We are preparing the ground for the day that will inevitably come, and we will all pray in al-Quds then,” Nasrallah highlighted.