Rouhani urges Palestinian unity after Jerusalem recognition

Iranian President speaks with Hamas leader, says resistance will defeat “U.S.-Zionist plan” to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Elad Benari ,

Hassan Rouhani
Hassan Rouhani

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Monday spoke with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and stressed that unity and resistance of the “oppressed Palestinian people” and other Muslim nations will lead to the failure of the “U.S.-Zionist plan” to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Rouhani’s remarks were quoted by the state-owned Iranian network PressTV.

The Iranian president described President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as "insulting" and added it was “a vicious plan against Palestine and the Muslim world”, while urging all Muslims to stand against it in unison.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran strongly condemns this U.S. move. This incorrect move further revealed the nature of the U.S. and Zionist regime to the world and showed that they do not want to officially recognize the Palestinian people's rights at all," Rouhani charged, according to PressTV.

Rouhani called on all Palestinian Arab movements to provide a firm response to the Israeli regime and to the U.S.

Haniyeh, for his part, said Trump's decision was a blatant violation of rights of all Muslims.

He added that the Palestinian people would never allow Israel and the U.S. to implement the plan, because “Al-Quds” (the Arabic name for Jerusalem –ed.) belonged to Palestine and the Muslim world.

Haniyeh pointed to the beginning of a new intifada and said the Palestinians were resolute to strongly continue it and cause the U.S.-Zionist plan to crash.

Relations between Hamas and Iran soured several years ago, when Hamas refused to support Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, a close ally of Iran's, in the uprising against him. An angry Iran then reportedly stopped supplying the terror group with weapons.

This past summer, however, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh thanked Iran for its "unlimited" support for the Al-Qassam Brigades and its contribution to the development of Hamas's military capabilities, an indication that the rift was over.

In October, a high-ranking Hamas delegation headed by sanctioned terrorist Salah al-Aruri visited Tehran.

During that visit, Aruri declared that Hamas and Iran had agreed to set aside their past differences.

"We have come (to Iran) to show that differences are now history. We have made a major agreement not to allow the differences leave negative impact on our bilateral ties in a bid to enable ourselves leave obstacles behind," he said.

Iran has spoken out against Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem. Last Friday, senior Iranian cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami urged Palestinian Arabs to stage an uprising against Israel following Trump’s move.

Iranians took to the streets of Tehran and other cities following Friday prayers to protest against Trump's decision.

Protestors chanted "death to the America", "death to Israel" and "death to England", and torched American and Israeli flags – as they often do during protests.

They also held up signs that read "Al-Quds (Jerusalem) is ours" and "We stand against Israel to the end".