Iran accuses Israel of ‘Zionist’ aggression, promises new support to Palestinians after clashes at holy site
Iran has accused Israel of “Zionist” aggression after clashes broke out between Palestinians and Israelis at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on Friday.
More than 150 Palestinians were injured when thousands gathered to pray at the holy site during the month of Ramadan. It was one of the most violent clashes since the Israeli-Palestinian crisis last summer.
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The clashes erupted after some Palestinians finished their prayers and marched near the mosque, chanting “Our souls, our blood, we sacrifice for you, al-Aqsa.”
The marchers also expressed support for Hamas, the Islamic militant group that rules Gaza, but has been defined by the US government as a terrorist organization.
It is unclear why the clashes took place, but Israeli police said they responded to the violence and arrested “hundreds” of suspects. The mosque was then reopened for midday prayers in the presence of about 60,000 people.
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Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) called the clash a “desecration of the sacred values of Muslims” and accused it of “deploying military equipment by Zionist regime’s military and security forces and carrying out unprovoked attacks on Palestinian worshipers.” Accordingly Translated statement Private Iranian news outlet, by Tasnim News Agency.
The IRGC also promised a “new wave” of support for Palestinians against Israel. He accused the state of Israel of “aggressive actions and new crimes.”
Recent clashes in Israel have raised concerns that the region could see a further increase in security, like the 11-day conflict in May 2021 that killed more than 200 Israelis and Palestinians, most of them in the Gaza Strip.
Iran has long supported Hamas and helped train and provide military assistance to Islamic State militants in the fight against Israel.
But in the current negotiations with the US and other Western nations over a nuclear deal in exchange for sanctions relief, Tehran may need to sever its well-known ties with terrorist organizations in the Middle East.
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Negotiations appear to have stalled, but reports surfaced last month that the United States may consider removing Iran’s Revolutionary Guards from its list of designated terrorist groups in exchange for regional peace.
It is unclear how Tehran will respond to the demands of the talks, but security officials and scientists alike have warned the administration to beware of false assurances.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.