Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi says the Islamic Republic will continue to support Palestine as the main issue of the Muslim world.
"We have never had and will never have any doubt about this policy. In our view, Palestine has been and will be the first issue of the Muslim world,” Raeisi said in a Friday meeting with head of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas Ismail Haniyeh, who took part in the swearing-in ceremony of the Iranian president Thursday.
Raeisi commended Haniyeh’s optimistic stance on the liberation of al-Quds and the end of Palestine’s occupation and said “Operation al-Quds Sword” -- the Palestinian resistance groups' 11-day retaliatory rocket and missile launches in response to Israel's brutal bombing campaign of Gaza in May -- showed that a great leap has been made in the fight against the occupiers.
"Today, signs of great victory of the resistant movement have emerged and Operation al-Quds Sword was one of the signs of this victory,” he said.
In Operation Sword al-Quds, he added, the resistance forces tightened the noose on the Zionist enemy in a way that neither the Zionists themselves nor their supporters could even imagine.
He noted that the Palestinians'' victory in the operation brought hope to the friends and disappointed the enemies of the resistance and said, "The most important message of this victory was that the theory of resistance in Palestine has worked and will work.”
Tel Aviv launched a brutal bombing campaign against the besieged Gaza Strip on May 10, following Palestinian retaliation against violent raids on worshipers at al-Aqsa Mosque and the regime’s plans to force a number of Palestinian families out of their homes at the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem al-Quds.
According to Gaza’s Health Ministry, 260 Palestinians were killed in the Israeli offensive, including 66 children and 40 women. At least 1,948 others were also wounded.
In response, Palestinian resistance movements, chief among them Hamas, launched Operation al-Quds Sword and fired more than 4,000 rockets and missiles into the occupied territories, killing 12 Israelis.
Apparently caught off guard by the unprecedented barrage of rockets from Gaza, Israel announced a unilateral ceasefire on May 21, which Palestinian resistance movements accepted with Egyptian mediation.
Hamas stands by Iran in face of US, Israel hostile policies: Haniyeh
For his part, Haniyeh said many hostile positions of the Israeli regime, the United States, and some other countries against Iran are rooted in the Islamic Republic’s support for resistance movements and its refusal to accept the US plans for Palestine and emphasized that Hamas stands by Iran in the face of such hostile policies.
He added that Iran has always attached special significance to the issue of Palestine since the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979.
Haniyeh expressed his optimism about the future of Hamas and noted that Operation al-Quds Sword has changed the international community’s perception of resistance movements and the balance of power in the region.
The Hamas official said the US plans for regional countries have failed, referring to the withdrawal of the American forces from Afghanistan and Iraq after years of occupation as a good proof in this regard.
Iran will always defend rights of oppressed Palestinians: Raeisi
Meanwhile, speaking in a meeting with Ziyad al-Nakhalah, leader of the Islamic Jihad – another Palestinian resistance group based in the Gaza Strip – Raeisi stressed the importance of supporting the oppressed Palestinian people against Israeli aggression.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran has no doubt in supporting Palestine, and we will always defend the rights of these oppressed people,” he said.
He noted that the Islamic Jihad is an effective group in defending the rights of the Palestinian people, and said the resistance movements would determine the fate of Palestine until the final victory.
Iran model of peaceful transition of power in world: Nakhalah
Nakhalah, for his part, said the Islamic Republic is a model of peaceful transition of power in the world while there was a power transfer conflict in the US just a few months ago.
He added that Raeisi’s speech during his swearing-in ceremony conveyed a message of support for justice and the oppressed and said Hamas would stand by Iran until the liberation of Holy al-Quds.
Those seeking normalization with Israel will realize their mistake: Raeisi
Raeisi said resistance is the only way to achieve victory against the Zionists, adding, “The Zionist regime has not been committed to any pacts and agreements it has signed and those who seek to normalize relations with it will soon realize their mistake.”
In a meeting with Secretary General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine Talal Naji and his deputy Abu Ahmad Fuad, the Iranian president said Palestine and the liberation of Holy al-Quds are the most important issues of the Muslim world.
He added that the Palestinian fighters refused to trust any process of compromise and urged the resistance movements to continue to tread on such a bright path with firm determination and by relying on the God Almighty.
President Raeisi also underscored the importance of strengthening solidarity and unity among the resistance groups to achieve greater victories.
The Israeli regime now suffers more desperation and resistance groups enjoy increasing power, Raeisi said.
For his part, Naji said resistance will continue until the final victory against the Israeli regime, adding that the resistance front would stand by the Iranian people because the Islamic Republic seeks to protect security of the entire region.