Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Thursday called on all Iranians to turn out for mass protests on Friday as part of the annual Al-Quds Day.
In a statement posted on his official website and quoted by i24news, Rouhani said he "expect[s] all people throughout our dear Iran, regardless of their thoughts and beliefs, to attend Quds Day demonstrations, sending this message to the usurper Zionist Regime [Israel] that they have not forgotten the Palestinian land and the Holy Quds and the freedom of the Holy Quds is still the holy cause of the Iranian people and all Muslims."
Al-Quds Day is an annual event created by Iran's first Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khomenei. During Al-Quds Day, rallies are held around the world and are used to incite against Israelis and Jews.
This year, according to i24news, alongside the main protest in Tehran, rallies are expected in cities around the world including New York, London, Copenhagen and Toronto, although they will not all be held on the same day.
Rouhani's message said this year's events were "special" because of U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and 2018 being "the 70th anniversary of the occupation of the Palestinian land."
During a 2013 Al-Quds Day rally in Toronto, one of the speakers called for Israelis to be killed. Video footage uploaded to YouTube showed the speaker, Elias Hazineh, saying at the rally, "We have to give them an ultimatum. You have to leave Jerusalem. You have to leave Palestine.”
Another speaker at the same rally attacked the Ontario Parliament’s decision not to allow the rally outside the parliament building, saying that the area had “become a Zionist occupied territory.”
Last year, flags of the Hezbollah terror group were openly flown during an Al-Quds Day parade in London, with police taking no action. The protesters took advantage of a loophole in the British law which blacklists only Hezbollah’s “military wing” and not its so-called “political wing”.
Iran's foreign ministry also promoted the Al-Quds Day marches, according to i24news.
"Such circumstances have turned this year’s Quds Day into one of the most sensitive periods of time in history as far as the issue of Palestine is concerned," said a foreign ministry statement.
"This day can provide a glorious and golden opportunity to support the innocent and oppressed people of Palestine and their legitimate struggles."