02:45 GMT18 May 2021
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    On Quds Day, which is also the last Friday of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, Muslims around the world traditionally gather for marches in solidarity with Palestinians. The annual Quds Day celebration was launched by Iran in 1979 to counter what Tehran says is Israeli aggression.

    The Israeli National Cyber Directorate is reportedly anticipating "Iran-linked" cyber attacks coordinated by hackers around the globe against the Jewish state, to mark the annual Quds Day.

    According to a Wednesday report by The Times of Israel, the alleged attacks, expected around May 7, will be carried under the hashtag #OPJerusalem, aiming to attract mass public attention.

    "The directorate again warns organizations about attackers' use of common current vulnerabilities and calls on them to implement the relevant security updates as soon as possible," the statement reportedly said.

    "The assessment is that this year there will be attacks that are focused not only on websites but also attempts to cause damage to information systems of Israeli organizations," the statement reportedly added.

    Tensions have been high between Iran and Israel for a long time and over a number of issues, including Iran's support of the Palestinian cause and Tehran providing assistance to the militant movement Hamas in Palestine, which opposes Israel

    Israel celebrates its own Jerusalem Day on May 10, which marks the day Israel seized then Jordan-controlled East Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War. In 1980, the Israeli parliament adopted the Jerusalem Law proclaiming the entire city Israel's "united and undivided capital." The international community does not recognize the annexation and believes the status of Jerusalem should be agreed with the Palestinians, who have claims to its eastern part.

    Palestinians have been seeking diplomatic recognition on the territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which is partially occupied by Israel, and the Gaza Strip for years, while Israel refuses to recognize Palestine as an independent political entity. The tensions worsened significantly in 2020, after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced plans to "extend Israeli sovereignty" over parts of the West Bank, and after the Trump administration unveiled its "deal of the century," reaffirming the US's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

    In response, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in May 2020 terminated all treaties with the United States and Israel.

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
    © AP Photo / Seth Wenig
    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

    The Russian Foreign Ministry also said last month that Jerusalem should become the capital of two independent countries — Israel and Palestine, "open to followers of all three monotheistic religions." 

    The report comes amid recently provoked tensions between Israel and the Palestinian authorities over holdiing elections in East Jerusalem. Palestine's leadership officially requested Israel to allow general elections to be held in East Jerusalem, as provided for by the Transitional Phase Agreement, but has not yet received any response. Palestine has sent letters to the United Nations, the European Union, the United States, and Russia — the Middle East Quartet members — requesting their intervention to ensure that Palestinians in East Jerusalem will participate in the elections.

    The Palestinian elections will be the first ones held in 15 years.

    Tags:
    Ramadan, Iran, Benjamin Netanyahu, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestine, Israel
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