Malaysia

Ahmad Zahid: Israeli aggression not in self-defence

Israeli soldiers, atop a tank, prepare to leave their Gaza border position at sun rise November 22, 2012. — Reuters picIsraeli soldiers, atop a tank, prepare to leave their Gaza border position at sun rise November 22, 2012. — Reuters picKUALA LUMPUR, 22 Nov — The Israeli full-scale attack on Gaza is an aggression and not in self-defence due to the collateral damage inflicted, said Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

“It cannot be justified as self-defence due to the collateral damage (inadvertent casualties and destruction in civilian areas) involved. More than 100 Palestinians were killed and over 2,000 injured, mostly women and children.

“This should not have happened and the conflict should be resolved through a ceasefire,” he told reporters after receiving British national security adviser Sir Nigel Kim Darroch at Parliament today.

Ahmad Zahid was commenting on a ceasefire between Israel and Palestine starting at 3am Malaysian time which was brokered by Egyptian President Dr Mohamed Mursi.

On his meeting with Kim Darroch, Ahmad Zahid said they discussed about regional defence and the Five Power Defence Agreement, a loose consultative arrangement where Britain and Malaysia were involved, besides the Israeli bombardment of Gaza.

“I have asked Britain to exert its influence on Israel to continue with the ceasefire,” he said.

Ahmad Zahid said Malaysia concurred with Britain’s approach of not increasing defence spending, instead capitalising on existing military assets and replacing those already obsolete, and beefing up the Territorial Army and military reserves.

Meanwhile, Deputy Foreign Minister Senator A. Kohilan Pillay said Malaysia believed that the Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire could ease the tension and conflict in Gaza.

“What is most important is to find a long-term solution to the conflict with the assistance of other countries.

“Neighbouring countries and Muslim nations will certainly support a peace plan to put a stop to the conflict,” he told today. — Bernama

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