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Iraq reaffirms 'full solidarity' with Palestine and Gaza

Iraq reaffirms 'full solidarity' with Palestine and Gaza, Sadr calls for 'million-strong' protest on Friday
3 min read
09 October, 2023
Iraqi leaders are displaying strong rhetoric of solidarity with Palestinians enduring a relentless bombing campaign by Israel. 
People stage a demonstration and carry Palestinian flag in support of Hamas and Palestinian resistance in Baghdad, Iraq on 8 October 2023. [Getty]

As Hamas's "Operation Al-Aqsa Flood"  against the Israeli occupation entered its third day, senior Iraqi officials reiterated the country's support of Palestine. 

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, on Sunday, 8 October, conducted two separate phone calls with Jordan's King Abdullah and the President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

 "The leaders emphasised the need to intensify diplomatic efforts to prevent escalating Israel-Palestinian violence and its 'dangerous repercussions' for the region's security," according to the Iraqi PM media office. 

For his part, prominent Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr called for a "one million people protest" to support Gaza's people. 

Basim al-Awadi, spokesperson of Iraq's government, said that Iraq's position is consistent, both as a people and a government, and supports the Palestinian people's aspirations and their legitimate rights.

"Today's Palestinian actions respond to longstanding oppression by the Zionist occupation, which ignores international resolutions. We urge global intervention to restore Palestinian rights, cautioning against escalation that could destabilise the region, and call for an urgent Arab League meeting on the Palestinian situation," reads the statement. 

Similarly, Iraqi President Abdul Latif Rashid, in a statement on Saturday, reiterated Iraq's steadfast position on the Palestinian issue, expressing full support for the Palestinian people in achieving their legitimate rights. He also strongly condemned the brutal Israeli attacks against the Palestinians and called upon the international community to assume its legal and moral responsibilities to achieve justice and ensure the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.

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Meanwhile, Iraq's Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), which are seen as a close ally to Iran, has announced its "full support" for the resistance in Gaza, but it did not clarify whether they would include the possibility, let alone capability, to send forces to fight along with Al-Qassam Brigades against Israel.

PMF heavily armed militants have posted videos on social media platforms vowing to defend the fight against the Israelis and defend Al-Quds. However, many Iraqi social media users considered those moves as mere propaganda and not realistic. 

The Iraqi parliament in May 2022 unanimously passed a law criminalising any form of normalisation with Israel.

According to the law, which was published by Iraq's state media in Arabic, all Iraqis, whether inside or outside the country, as well as state officials, including those in the northern Kurdistan region, government institutions, private sector companies, the media, foreign companies, and their employees, are banned from establishing relations with Israel, visit the country, or promoting normalisation. 

The law stipulates that any Iraqi who visits Israel will be sentenced to life imprisonment, and those who establish any political, economic, or cultural relations with Israeli institutions, even through social media networks, will be sentenced to the death penalty.