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Video shows Iranian man burning Israeli flag, which then sets him on fire

Incident reportedly occurred during Friday al-Quds Day protests

Screenshot from a video being shared on social media said to depict an Iranian man accidentally setting himself alight after attempting to burn an Israeli flag, posted on May 8 2021. (Screen capture: Twitter)
Screenshot from a video being shared on social media said to depict an Iranian man accidentally setting himself alight after attempting to burn an Israeli flag, posted on May 8 2021. (Screen capture: Twitter)

A video being shared on social media appears to show a man in Iran holding a giant Israeli flag that he has set ablaze, before the flames burn him.

The man can then be seen scurrying away with his clothes on fire, as a group of people holding up Palestinian flags move away from him.

The video was taken during an al-Quds Day protest, according to social media.

Iran initiated al-Quds Day, or Jerusalem Day, in 1979, the year of the Islamic Revolution. Marked this year on Friday, May 7, the regime commemorates the day with anti-Israel speeches, events and threats to “liberate” Jerusalem from Israeli control.

In a speech this year, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Friday called Israel “not a country, but a terrorist base” and said its downfall was imminent.

“Fighting this despotic regime… is everyone’s duty,” Khamenei said in live televised remarks.

File: Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivers a message for the Iranian New Year, or Nowruz, in Tehran, Iran, March 20, 2021. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

The event takes place on the last Friday of Ramadan and falls close to Israel’s own Jerusalem Day, celebrated this year on May 10, which marks Israel’s capture of East Jerusalem and the Old City during the 1967 Six Day War.

Despite virus restrictions, a number of people came out “spontaneously” in the capital Tehran, state TV said, showing the usual burning of flags and chants of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel.”

Iranians set Israeli flags on fire as they step on a US flag during a rally marking al-Quds Day at the capital Tehran’s Azadi (Freedom) square, on May 7, 2021. (AFP)

Jerusalem Day, mostly celebrated by national religious Jews, features a “flag march” through the Old City, where celebrants wave Israeli flags. Concerns have been raised that this year’s celebrations could further fuel violence in Jerusalem, which seen major clashes in recent days on the Temple Mount and nearby Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

Jerusalem Police District Commander Doron Turgeman said a final decision on whether to change the route of the “flag march” will not be made until a situational assessment Monday morning.

Thousands of young Jewish boys wave Israeli flags as they celebrate Jerusalem Day, dancing and marching their way through Damascus Gate to the Western Wall, on June 5, 2016. (Nati Shohat/ Flash90)

In a briefing ahead of Jerusalem Day, Turgeman also said a decision on whether to allow Jews on the Temple Mount will be made Monday.

“We’re prepared for any scenario,” he was quoted as saying by the Ynet news site.

Tensions have risen between Israel and Iran, with the countries blaming each other for recent attacks on each other’s ships that have caused damage, but no injuries or sinking. In addition, Iran has blamed Israel for an explosion at a key nuclear facility that reportedly caused significant damage, but no injuries, by knocking out power systems.

Jerusalem has seen heightened tensions between Palestinians and Israeli security forces since the beginning of Ramadan in mid-April. Additionally, over 70 Palestinian residents are threatened with eviction and could be replaced by right-wing Jewish nationalists in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. The case and surrounding tensions sparked some of the worst clashes seen in years at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount compound on Friday and further violence on Saturday and Sunday.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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