Iran’s supreme leader said it was an “Islamic duty” to fight for “the liberation of Palestine” in a historic speech on Friday amid growing tensions with regional arch-enemy Israel.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made his first address on Western countries and their Arab “puppets” as Quds (Jerusalem) Day to support Jewish nations.
The 80-year-old leader appeared for the first time confirming that Iran had helped provide arms to the Palestinians.
At the end of a week, the comment came that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu launched a Twitter triad against Khamenei and the two sides accused each other of cyber attacks.
Khamenei said in a speech broadcast on state television, “the purpose of this struggle is the liberation of the entire Palestinian land” and the return of all Palestinians to their country.
“The policy of normalizing the presence of the Zionist regime in the region is one of the major policies of the United States,” he said.
“Some Arab governments in the region, which play the role of American puppets, have provided necessary conditions for this, such as economic relations and choice; these efforts are completely fruitless and sterile.
“Everyone should fill the Palestinian fighter’s hand and strengthen his back.
“We will proudly do our best this way.”
“One day we realized that the only problem for the Palestinian fighter … was the lack of weapons.”
“We planned” to resolve the issue, and “the result is that the balance of power in Palestine has changed: today Gaza Zioni can stand up for the enemy’s military aggression and victory.”
Every year since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Iran has marked the day of Muslim fasting on the last Friday of Ramadan, in solidarity with the Palestinians.
Khamenei was speaking at the event for the first time in more than 30 years as supreme leader, although he has repeatedly described the Palestinian cause as “the main problem of the Muslim world”.
The Islamic Republic has canceled this year’s Quid Day rallies to prevent the spread of the novel coronovirus, which first emerged in the country in February.
This year’s Quds Day comes after the January assassination of Qassam Soleimani, the powerful commander of the Quds Force, the foreign operations wing of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.
Netanyahu on Wednesday made fun of Khamenei on Twitter after posting quotes from a speech given in November on the Iranian leader’s own account.
In a tweet on Khamenei’s account, the Iranian leader was quoted as saying that “ending the Zionist regime does not mean annihilating the Jews”.
Netanyahu replied: “He should know that any regime that threatens to exterminate Israel will find itself in the same danger”.
The Iranian leader’s tweet was also condemned by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who called him “anti-Jewish”.
The next day the Israelis arouse a series of cyber attacks targeting websites of businesses, municipalities and non-governmental organizations, with a message in Hebrew, English: “The countdown to Israel’s destruction began long ago”.
Earlier in the week, The Washington Post reported that Israel had launched a cyber attack against the Iranian port of Shahid Raja, located on the Strait of Hormuz, an important route for international oil traffic.
The attack was considered in retaliation for a cyber attack against civilian hydraulic installations in Israel.