Scores of Syrians, Palestinians march through Damascus to mark Quds Day
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Scores of Syrians, Palestinians march through Damascus to mark Quds Day

Rallies reported in various cities across Muslim world on Iran-backed day of protest against Israel

Syrians and Palestinians wave their flags during a festival held inside the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, Syria on Friday, Aug. 2, 2013 to commemorate Al-Quds (Jerusalem) Day. (AP Photo)
Syrians and Palestinians wave their flags during a festival held inside the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, Syria on Friday, Aug. 2, 2013 to commemorate Al-Quds (Jerusalem) Day. (AP Photo)

Scores of Syrians and Palestinians commemorated Quds Day Friday by marching through the streets of Damascus while chanting anti-Israel slogans.

The protesters walked from the Hamidyeh market in the old city of Damascus to the Umayyad Mosque waving Syrian and Palestinian flags.

Hamid Hassan, 73, a Palestinian, said that the event “means a lot to us. Jerusalem is an Arab land and it’s the land of all religions.”

He added: “We will continue to offer martyrs until we liberate it. We will never kneel.”

Rallies are also taking place in Iran and across the Muslim world. Chanting “Death to Israel,” demonstrators in Tehran protested Israel’s control of Jerusalem, the city where Muslims believe Islam’s Prophet Muhammad began his journey to heaven. Palestinians want East Jerusalem for their future capital.

Syrian national Samah Abdullah, 42, said the issue of Jerusalem is the cause of all Muslims, adding that commemorating the day is a “motivation for us and for all Palestinians to restore the occupied land.”

The Iran-backed event occurs annually on the last Friday of Ramadan since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in the country, and this year comes just three days after the Palestinians’ Naksa Day on June 5, which commemorates the Arab loss in the 1967 Six Day War.

“Al-Quds” is the Arabic name for Jerusalem, and Iran says the day is an occasion to express support for the Palestinians.

On Thursday night, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani issued a statement on his website calling on Iranians to attend the rallies in large numbers.

“Quds Day is a historic day when everybody protests against tyrants and voices support for an oppressed people who have been displaced from their homes during the past 70 years,” he is quoted as saying by the official Mehr News website.

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