Iran's Khamenei: fight to 'liberate Palestine' is 'Islamic duty'


Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said it was an "Islamic duty" to fight for the "liberation of Palestine" in a speech on Friday amid rising tensions with regional arch-enemy Israel.

"The uprising by Palestinians should continue ... fight to liberate Palestine is an obligation and an Islamic jihad ... The Zionist regime (Israel) is a cancerous tumour in the region," Iran's top authority Khamenei said in an online speech. "The long-lasting virus of Zionists will be eliminated."

Khamenei and other senior Iranian officials have called repeatedly over the years for an end to the Jewish state, including through a referendum in the region, where Palestinians are in the majority.

Khamenei reiterated the call in his speech on Quds (Jerusalem) Day, held on the last Friday of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan and which was declared by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, founder of Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution. 

"The aim of this struggle is the liberation of the entire Palestinian land" and "the return of all Palestinians to their country," he said.    (AFP/Reuters)

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