SHAFAQNA – “The sorrowful story of Palestine and the excruciating sadness felt because of the oppression against this patient, enduring and resistant nation, truly distresses any individual who seeks freedom, truth and justice and it thrusts an agonizing pain and suffering upon one’s heart.”
This is how Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran opened the Sixth International Conference in Support of the Palestinian Intifada (uprising) which was held in the Summit Hall in the Iranian capital Tehran.
The two-day international conference on Palestine which was held on the 21st and 22nd of February was an international show of solidarity with the oppressed nation in the face of Israel occupation and atrocities. The 6th International Conference in Support of the Palestinian Intifada opened with 80 delegations from around the world with more than 700 foreign guests and representatives of the pro-Palestinian organizations took part in the event.
Among the participants were senior Iranian officials, including President Hassan Rouhani, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani and Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday opened the event saying all Muslim countries have a responsibility to support Palestinian resistance, which should be a source of unity in the Islamic world.
Palestine has been the site of increased tensions since last August, when Israel imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinians into the al-Aqsa Mosque’s compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds. Protests against the restrictions have been met with a deadly Israeli crackdown, which has in turn prompted strengthened Palestinian resistance, known as the third Palestinian intifada. The first Intifada took place between 1987 and 1993, and the second one in the 2000s. A total of 6,200 Palestinians died during the first two Palestinian uprisings.
Imam Khamenei also said the creation of Israel has been the plot hatched by extra-regional powers, and “has caused the fake being (Israel) to replace the real being (Palestine)” in the region. He advised the Islamic states to avoid “useless” crises and differences, but to concentrate on the issue of Palestine as the core issue of Islam. “Otherwise, the potentials and capabilities of the nations will go waste in the face of vain struggles, which would provide opportunities for the Zionist regime to become even stronger,” he asserted.
Also addressing the first day’s proceedings were Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem, Lebanon’s Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, the head of the Palestinian resistance movement of Islamic Jihad, Ramadan Abdullah, as well as Omani and Malaysian top parliamentarians Khalid al-Mawali and Pandikar Amin Mulia.
Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem said that Palestine is in need of the financial and military support, stressing the party’s aim of liberating the entire occupied territories of Palestine. During his speech at the opening of “To support the Palestinian Intifada” in Tehran, Sheikh Qassem said that Hezbollah represents the ideal of resisting the Zionist plot, noting that fighting the takfiri militant groups in Syria aims at striking the Israeli role in the region.
In his part, Lebanon’s Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri suggested at the conference on Tuesday that the Islamic states shut their embassies in Washington if the U.S. decides to relocate its embassy to al-Quds, or Jerusalem in Israel. The embassy relocation plan is a scheme to disrupt peace, Berri said, criticizing the U.S. government for backing Israel policies, including the expansion of Jewish settlements on the Palestinian stolen lands.
Meanwhile, Ramadan Abdullah Shalah, the visiting head of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement, said here that the Palestinian people have firm determination to resist the Zionist regime of Israel and will never give in.
The Wednesday round started with a speech by Iranian Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani, who underlined the importance of resistance against the Israeli occupation. He said if Muslims and all those fighting the suppression “are looking towards the West, specifically the United States, to help the Palestinian cause, they are mistaken. It will never happen.” The only way Palestinians will achieve liberation “is by putting their trust in God and continuing resistance,” the Judiciary chief added.
President Hassan Rouhani, delivering the closing speech at the Palestine conference in Tehran on Wednesday, hailed the participation of Islamic countries and high-ranking delegations in the two-day event. He then noted the significant role of Resistance martyrs and paid tribute to them.
President Rouhani touched upon the history of Zionist occupation in Palestine and the history of Palestinian nation’s resistance and suffering. “Once again Palestinian cause gathered us together to talk about a deep pain, of which the Islamic World has been suffering for over 70 years,” Rouhani told the meeting, underlining that Palestine issue is not a ethnic or national issue, but an indication of insufficiency of international bodies.
“Western leaders, in order to achieve their imperialist objectives in the region, tried to gain the control of Middle East by altering religious structures and through war and crime,” Rouhani said, adding “in a strategic mistake, they occupied Holy Quds; but the problems of the manipulated regime spread so far to the creators’ dominance and affected their beliefs and values as well.”
Later on, the Tehran conference for Palestinian issued a final statement urging the necessity of putting an end to seven decades of Israeli occupation. The statement underlined the need for collective efforts of all Muslim, regional and international countries to defend legitimate rights of the Palestinian nation.
By Marwa Osmam – Political analyst and commentator for the Middle East