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Shi’a Mark Al-Quds Day With Anti-Israel Rallies Across Middle East

Tens of thousands of Shi'ite Muslims have marched in Iran, Iraq, and Syria in anti-Israel rallies to mark Al-Quds Day, also known as Jerusalem Day.

Some protesters across the three countries set Israeli and U.S. flags on fire while others chanted "Death to America" and "Death to Israel."

The day was established by the founder of the Islamic republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, to show support for Palestinians and opposition against Israel, which Iran does not recognize.

Rallies were held across Iran, including in Tehran, where marchers were converging from various points of the city onto the Friday Prayer ceremony at Tehran University.

Demonstrators chanted anti-American slogans to condemn the U.S. decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem. Palestinians want East Jerusalem for their future capital.

In Iraq, thousands of Iran-backed Shi'ite militiamen marched through a main Baghdad street to mark Al-Quds Day, a reference to the Arabic name for Jerusalem.

In Syria, hundreds commemorated the day by marching through the streets of Damascus while chanting anti-Israel slogans.

Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

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