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PM Ismail: Oppression Of Palestinians By Israel Akin To Apartheid

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob also raised the issue of Afghanistan and Rohingyas in Myanmar at the 76th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

Cover image via PMO / New Straits Times & Reuters / Arab News

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Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has denounced the "systematic oppression" faced by Palestinians at the hands of Israel.

He likened the situation to the high crime of apartheid.

Delivering Malaysia's national statement at the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on 25 September, Ismail at the same time rebuked Israel's "aggressions".

"Let us be truly frank about what is happening in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)," the Prime Minister began, according to New Straits Times.

"The systematic oppression of Palestinians over many years through discriminatory policies; denial of basic civil rights; imposition of harsh conditions; large scale land confiscation; and inhumane acts committed against them is tantamount to the crime of apartheid."

Ismail continued by saying that apartheid still exists in this world in the form of Israel, and that the targeted harassment of Palestinian worshippers at Al-Aqsa Mosque is "contemptuous to all Muslims, or for any peace-loving religion".

Ismail's chiding of Israel is a sentiment well-carried in Malaysia, as support for Palestine is historically effusive.

Image via New Straits Times

He then broached Afghanistan's recent quandary and the Rohingya crisis

Speaking on the former, Ismail expressed grief at the horrific suicide bombings at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul late last month, which claimed the lives of over 100 people, according to the Wall Street Journal.

"Malaysia condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. The region cannot be allowed to be turned into a fertile breeding ground for terrorism again."

He called on the world to come together in support of the people of Afghanistan, particularly by extending relief aid.

"On this, Malaysia stands ready to extend its assistance and do what it can," said Ismail.

The increasingly fraught situation in Afghanistan has led many residents to seek refuge in other countries.

Image via Al Jazeera

As for the Rohingya predicament, he further reiterated Malaysia's stance that it supports a peaceful resolution in the soonest.

"Malaysia is particularly worried about the humanitarian situation, now further aggravated by Myanmar's healthcare system, which is stretched thin."

Ismail also urged the government in Naypidaw to allow the Special Envoy of ASEAN to Myanmar to visit the country.

Malaysia hosts in excess of 154,000 refugees from Myanmar, accounting for 86% of Malaysia's total refugee population, reported New Straits Times.

Meanwhile in the same speech, PM Ismail urged the many disparate nations to live "together in peace and harmony"

"We need to realise that as we progress further, we should be far more integrated and stronger as a family of nations," he said.

"It is no longer enough that we tolerate differences, but we should, instead, learn to celebrate and treat them with genuine curiosity and meaningful respect."

Ismail stressed the importance of a united voice at the UN, and that hostilities across the world must cease at once.

"This would allow governments and all stakeholders to focus their attention on combating humankind's deadliest enemy," reported New Straits Times.

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