An Iranian official has made a public plea for Palestinian authority to band together to â€œdemolish the Zionist regime.â€
The statement came from a conference in Tehran as Israel celebrates Nakba Day. This is the day Israel celebrates its declaration of Independence. Palestinians regard Nakba as a day of Catastrophe, as thousands of Palestinian refugees were expelled from their lands after Israel declared its independence in 1948.
The conference was headed by Hossein Shiekholeslam, who said he hoped for an awakening in the Islamic movement that would â€œSwallow the Zionist regime.â€
Another speaker, Salah Zawawi, who is also the PA Ambassador for Tehran, added that the annihilation of the Zionist regime is the only way to ease the agony suffered by the Arabs. He further added that there is a pact between the U.S. and Israel to enable Jewish immigrants to settle down in lands that rightfully belong to the Palestinians.
A third speaker, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, accused Israel of engaging in an ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem. In a televised speech, he claimed that Muslim and Christian holy sites have been targeted and that citizens within the vicinity are being forced to pay heavy taxes in an effort to drive them out of the land.
The conference took place just a day after Israel agreed to sign an agreement to get Palestinian prisoners to end a hunger strike, which has received international attention and a plea from foreign leaders for Israel authorities to intervene. Part of the agreement included a transfer of the remains of 100 Arab terrorists currently buried in Israel.
Nakba Day was also marked by violence in Samaria and Judea as the Israel Defense Force clashed with a mob of Palestinians who hurled bricks and Molotov cocktails. The police responded with rubber bullets and tear gas.