Al-Quds Day As A Call for Global Solidarity With Palestine

It has not just been a platform to make speeches for Palestinians but has resulted in real-time help for them

Al-Quds Day As A Call for Global Solidarity With Palestine

Every last Friday of Ramzan since the Islamic Revolution has been marked and celebrated as "al-Quds Day." The day acknowledges Palestinian struggle, and resistance and shows solidarity with the oppressed people of Palestine who have been at war since 1947's illegal occupation of their lands at the hands of Zionist extremists.

The 1947 occupation of Palestinian lands by Zionists with the help of the so-called democratic states of the West has resulted in millions of displacements, internally and outside of Palestine, causing humanitarian crises in already impoverished countries of the Middle Eastern region. The humanitarian situation in Palestine is truly unimaginable as according to the WHO, the average person in Gaza is consuming 3 liters of water against the UN-designed 50-100 liters of water per person per day, as we witness a large and deadly Israeli onslaught on Gaza and West Bank since the 7th of October. Contrary to this, the Israeli population has 240 litres per person in Israel and particularly settlers over 300 littes per person per day, whereas the natives in West Bank hardly get 73 litres per perso. Additionally, food, medicine, and other essential supplies have also been cut off, which again is inhumane and against international law. Unfortunately, most of the democratic states and members of international system and institutions are complicit, as they stand firmly with Israel in its continued brutality against Palestinians, referring to Israel’s actions as a “right to self defence.”

According to the Refugees International organisation, there are around 7 million Palestinian refugees in different countries. Israel's laws have facilitated and given a “Right to Return” to every single Jew to the Israelii state, and denied this very right to Palestinians. This “Right of Return” for Palestinians, which falls under international law, has not galvanized the conscience of the world community. In this regard, Amnesty International's Philip Luther has said, “There can be no lasting solution to the Palestinian refugee crisis until Israel respects Palestinian refugees’ right to return.”

As such, the world community since 1947 had left Palestinians on their own and supported Israel. But the Iranian revolution which brought an end to the monarchical rule by Raza Shah Pahlavi, also gave renewed impetus to the Palestinian cause, when Iran's then-Supreme Leader Imam Khomeini declared the last Friday of Ramzan as al-Quds Day by saying  "I call on all Muslims and Muslim governments to unite in order to get the hands of this occupier (Israel) and it supporters of Palestine and call on all Muslims around the world to name the last Friday of Ramadan month as 'Quds Day' and declare the international solidarity of Muslims in supporting legal rights of (Palestinian) Muslims."

Al-Quds Day since then has been the biggest platform showing support for Palestine through conferences, rallies, protests, write-ups, and diplomatic missions to help inform the world community of its responsibility towards Palestinians. Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen, Bahrain, many European countries and the rest of the world have seen commemorations of Quds Day since then.

In 2024, Al-Quds Day holds particular significance, as just a few months back Hamas launched its operation Al-Aqsa Storm and shocked Israelis who once considered themselves invincible, secure, and untouchable. Israel has maintained its image as an undefeatable and strong country based on its access to high tech modern weapons, strong economy, and defense capabilities backed and supported by the USA. However, the recent Hamas attack showed how weak Israel's defense and forces are that they could not see this coming from the illegal borders they have created within occupied Palestinian territories. 

The Israeli operation, according to the UN Secretary general, has resulted in deaths of over 30,000 civilians and the number of injured stands above 70,000. Moreover, out of more than 30,000, some 13,750 are children, followed by a major portion of women showing how disgraceful and badly defeated Israel felt by Hamas that they took their anger on civilians and this is not new.

For a long time now, the Israelis have killed, bombed, and attacked civilians to make new settlements for Jewish immigrants to Israel and to occupy more territory. Moreover, according to Human Rights Watch, Israel has detained and arrested nearly 7,000 Palestinians allegedly for offensive crimes. Israel has also imprisoned thousands without trial. As of 2023, Israel holds 2,070 Palestinians detained without trial or evidence shown to lawyers or anybody else. Among those illegally detained is a major portion of women and children. The recent prisoner swap between Israel and Hamas after 7th October showed Israel releasing three dozen children.

Apart from arresting children and women, according to UN officials, Israel has also allegedly raped women in detention. But since Israel is a key ally of the West and international institutions have been influenced by the US since the end of the Cold War, such platforms did little to ease the plight of the Palestinians.

Al-Quds Day holds great significance as it has not just been a platform to make speeches for Palestinians but has resulted in real-time help for them – all due to the Iranian Revolution of 1979.

Iranian policy on Palestine since the start has been of active participation in helping Palestinians, standing by them and even allocating resources to help them materially. The IRGC's Quds Force has helped the Palestinian resistance become powerful enough to stand and challenge a state many times stronger than them. There was once a time when Palestinians resorted to stones to retaliate against tanks but today they are holding anti-tank missiles.

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyah said in a recent statement, “I am particularly specifying the Islamic Republic of Iran which has not faltered in supporting and funding the resistance financially, militarily, and technically. This is an example of the Republic’s strategy that was established by Imam Khomeini, may God have mercy on his soul.”

The recent conflict has shown dual standards of the West who call themselves the flag bearers of justice, freedom, democracy and human rights and at the same time ally themselves with the oppressive state of Israel against Palestinian in Gaza. This is a chance for the OIC member states, China and Russia to come forward, fill the gap of meditators and to provide a plan of action to resolve the longstanding issue. The longer it drags on, the more serious violations will be carried out by Israel and Palestinian suffering will be all the worse.

Al-Quds Day will retain its significance in such a context. This year it is a particularly strong condemnation of Israel’s aggression and the complicity of its powerful allies.

The author studies International Relations at the National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad. His focus is on proxy wars, conflicts and aspirations for hegemony by international and regional powers in the Middle East region. Contact: