Iranians demand Israel’s destruction at annual ‘Quds Day’ riots

At Quds Day protests on Friday, Iranians burned Israeli and U.S. flags and chanted slogans calling for the elimination of these nations.

By World Israel News Staff  and AP

Thousands of Iranians rallied Friday to mark Quds, (Jerusalem) Day, which will see demonstrations and rioting across the Mideast as the Trump administration prepares to offer an Israel-Palestinian peace plan.

The annual protests call for the destruction of the State of Israel and are also held in Iraq, Lebanon and elsewhere, occurring on the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Iran has marked Quds Day since the start of its 1979 Islamic Revolution by the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Al-Quds is the Arabic name for Jerusalem, and the Iranian regime uses the day as an annual opportunity to gather crowds for mass “death to Israel” and “death to America” chants.

As rallies began across the Iranian capital, demonstrators set fire to American and Israeli flags, and also burned effigies of President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The rallies will all head to Tehran University, where the ceremony is to end at Friday noontime prayers. Similar rallies took place in 950 cities and towns across the country.

Iran regularly threatens Israel and props up terror groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah with hundreds of millions of dollars in arms and other support so that they can launch attacks on the Jewish state.

This year’s protests come as the White House is promoting the June 25-26 meeting in the Gulf state of Bahrain as the first phase of its long-awaited Mideast peace plan. That plan, whose specifics have yet to be released, includes large-scale investment and infrastructure work for Palestinians, much of it funded by wealthy Arab countries.

Palestinian leaders say they won’t attend the summit. American officials say the Bahrain conference will not include the core political issues of the conflict: borders of a Palestinian state, the status of Jerusalem, or Israeli security demands.

Many high-ranking Iranian officials attending the rally in Tehran, including President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Both men derided the Trump administration’s so-called “Deal of the Century” peace plan, saying it would end in failure.

On Wednesday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had claimed that the U.S. and its allies will fail to impose the deal on Palestinians. In 2015, Khamenei predicted that Israel would not exist in 25 years.