GAZA, Jan 23 ― Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said his one-day humanitarian visit here was to show the solidarity and steadfast support of Malaysia and its people to the Palestinian struggle.
Malaysia could send humanitarian and financial assistance to the Palestinians but he considered his visit as a very strong symbol of an undying support for Palestine, he said at a meeting with the Palestinian cabinet ministers in conjunction with his visit to Gaza.
Gaza, which is one of the settlements in Palestine, has a population of 1.7 million living in an area half the size of Perlis in Malaysia.
“I hope more and more Muslim leaders from all over the world would do the same. This struggle is not only for the Palestinians but also the Ummah,” he said.
At the same function, Najib said he admired the steadfastness of the Palestinians in the face of Israeli aggression on their soil, which was a remarkable moral victory.
He said that through this visit, he and his entourage were able to see for themselves the devastation caused by the Israeli military attacks on targets like mosques and schools which had no military interests.
During the short visit, Najib was accompanied by wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom.
“This (aggression) is totally unacceptable and is against all principles of the United Nations. The more the world knows, the more they will support the cause of the Palestinians” he said.
At the same time, he said Malaysia supported the unification of the West Bank, which was under Fatah and Gaza under Hamas to form a successful unified government in Palestine.
Meanwhile, Gaza’s Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said in his speech at the meeting that Najib’s visit was the first time ever by a non-Arab prime minister from a foreign country to Gaza.
During the visit, Najib was conferred the Honorary Doctorate Degree by Al-Aqsa University for the support given to the Palestinian cause.
Najib, in his acceptance speech, said that he felt honoured to accept the doctorate on behalf of the government of Malaysia and Malaysians, with full respect and honour to the university, the people of Gaza and Palestine.
“Although I consider myself a friend to the people of Palestine, it is my people who reach out with offers of assistance, who give what they can to help people here, who keep innocent Palestinians in their thoughts whenever violence is done here,” he said at the conferment ceremony at the university.
Rosmah was also conferred with the Honorary Doctorate Degree by the university at the ceremony for her charity work.
Najib said the Malaysians’ commitment could be seen in the funds and medical supplies donated to last year’s solidarity mission and in the spirit of those who travelled here to distribute them.
In his speech, Najib also announced that Malaysia was offering scholarships and placements to qualified students from Palestine who wished to study in Malaysia, both at first degree level, and particularly at the post-graduate level. ― Bernama