TEHRAN, July 25 (Xinhua) -- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani urged Israel in a rally here on Friday to terminate years of rigid blockade on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip that has seen mounting civilian deaths as the Jewish state continued its weeks-long offensive.
"The blockade should be lifted, Rafah crossing be opened, fire and bloodshed be stopped, the raid on Gaza be halted, so that the (Gaza) people could get free and return to their normal life," Rouhani vowed as he attended the Quds (Jerusalem) Day rallies in Tehran on Friday, adding that "this is the urge of the world today. "
He also criticized those who are silent over Israel's Gaza military campaign or supportive of Tel Aviv's "crimes against innocents."
Hundreds of thousands of Iranians rallied on Friday across the country to mark Quds Day in solidarity with the Palestinians, condemning Israel's continued occupation of Palestinian lands and recent bloody attacks on the Strip.
Quds Day, officially called International Quds Day in Iran, is an annual event held on the last Friday of Ramadan that was initiated by the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979 to express solidarity with the Palestinian people and oppose Zionism as well as Israel's control of Jerusalem.
Quds Day celebration in several other Arab countries also saw anti-Israel protests.
So far, the bloody conflicts between the Jewish state and the Islamic militants in Gaza Strip have already resulted in the death of more than 700 Palestinians and over 30 Israelis.