Palestinian victory against Israel celebrated in Iran, other countries
Leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on Friday congratulated the Palestinian people for their victory against Israel, saying the Zionist regime was "forced to accept defeat" by resistance groups.
"I thank dear and almighty God for the victory and honor bestowed upon Palestinian fighters," Ayatollah Khamenei said in a statement following a cease-fire that ended Israel’s 11 days of aggression against the Gaza Strip.
"The continuation of crimes and the cease-fire were both (part of Israel's) defeat. They were forced to accept defeat," the Leader added, noting that Israel was "powerless against the unified rise of Palestine".
"The readiness of the Palestinian youth and the show of power" by resistance groups in Gaza "will make Palestine more powerful by the day and the usurping enemy weaker and more despicable," he added, according to AFP.
The cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, the resistance movement that runs the Gaza Strip, and other Palestinian groups in the territory appeared to be holding since Friday.
Israeli strikes on Gaza that started on May 10 have killed 248 Palestinians, including 66 children and 39 women, and more than 1,900 were injured, Gaza's Health Ministry said.
Rockets fired into Israel from Gaza have claimed 12 lives, Israeli authorities said.
The Leader said Israel committed “massive crimes” mainly in the Gaza Strip, and proved in practice that due to its inability to face Palestine’s unified uprising, it carries out “shameful and insane” moves to such an extent that world public opinion is incited against the regime and more hatred toward it and Western states, particularly the US, is fomented, Press TV wrote.
He said that “senior resistance and political Palestinian officials determine when to begin and end the conflicts, but there is no end to preparedness and strong presence on the scene”.
Referring to the Israeli expulsion of dozens of Palestinians from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied East Al-Quds, the Leader said the “courageous Palestinian people should use their experience in resisting the bullying of the Israeli regime and settler hirelings in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood as a permanent guideline”.
“Muslim governments should enter the scene with sincerity to support the Palestinian nation whether [in the field of] military strengthening or financial support, which is required more than before, and the reconstruction of infrastructure in Gaza,” Ayatollah Khamenei added.
He described punishing the Zionist regime as another significant duty of Muslim states and said all awakened consciences acknowledge that the crime of massacring Palestinian women and children over the past 11 days must not go unpunished.
Ayatollah Khamenei also called for legal measures against Israel, including its Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
"All the effective elements of this regime and the criminal Netanyahu must be pursued by international and independent courts and be punished," he said.
Political chief of Hamas Ismail Haniyeh on Friday thanked Iran for its support for the movement.
President Hassan Rouhani also on Saturday congratulated Palestine, denouncing many Arab governments for remaining silent on the Israeli atrocities in a full-blown war.
Rouhani lauded the Palestinian people for their steadfastness, resistance and fortitude and congratulated them on a major victory against Israel which he said is “armed to the teeth” and receives support from the West, including the US and Europe, Tasnim reported.
“Gaza’s decisive response to the Zionist aggression marked a great victory for the people of Palestine,” the Iranian president said.
He also deplored the Western governments for adopting improper stances on the recent conflict, saying also that the Arab world was expected to behave more actively while many of them remained silent until the final days of the Israeli attacks on Gaza.
In Tehran, people gather in the capital’s Felestin Square to celebrate the victory.
Demonstrators chanted "Down with Israel" and "Down with America” as they set off fireworks in celebration.
Countrywide demonstrations were also staged in Pakistan in solidarity with Palestinians.
The gatherings were held in Karachi, the country’s biggest city, as well as the eastern city of Lahore, the capital Islamabad, and elsewhere on Friday following Muslim prayers.
Demonstrators held aloft Pakistani and Palestinian flags at many demonstrations across the country after Prime Minister Imran Khan called for a day of solidarity earlier this week.
Thousands also demonstrated on Friday in Jordan to celebrate the "victory of the resistance" against Israel.
Responding to a call by the Muslim Brotherhood, some 10,000 people gathered in the Sweimeh region near the Israeli-occupied West Bank, AFP reported.
Demonstrators carried banners reading: "Al-Quds is the symbol of victory", "Congratulations on the victory of the resistance" and "Resilience of Gaza led to victory".
Around half of Jordan's 10 million-strong population is of Palestinian origin, including some 2.2 million refugees registered with the United Nations.
Demonstrators on Friday carried Jordanian and Palestinian flags and chanted "Death to Israel" and "Let's trade the olive branch for the gun".
Jordan signed a peace deal with Israel in 1994.
In Karameh, an area near the West Bank, another few thousand demonstrators burned Israeli flags and chanted slogans against the peace deal.
In the capital, over 1,000 protesters set off on a march from the Al-Husseini Grand Mosque in central Amman after Friday prayers.
They demanded the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador and the closure of the regime’s embassy.
On Monday, Jordanian lawmakers unanimously called on the government to expel the Israeli ambassador in Amman and recall the Jordanian ambassador from Tel Aviv.