Malaysian PM calls for Palestinian unity in GazaSouce:Xinhua Publish By Thomas Whittle Updated 23/01/2013 2:21 am in World / no comments
GAZA, Jan. 22 — Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak Tuesday called on Palestinian rivals to reconcile and form a unity government.
“We believe in a unity government and pray to Allah that talks be successful and a unified government will become reality in the near future,” Razak said as he arrived in the Gaza Strip.
He described his visit to the Hamas-controlled Palestinian territory as a historic humanitarian one because it is the first time that a Malaysian prime minister has visited Gaza.
Razak also stressed that the Malaysian support for the Palestinian people will continue until they have a Palestinian state with full sovereignty.
Razak entered Gaza through Rafah border crossing point with Egypt, accompanied by his wife and Foreign Minister Anifah Aman.
Hamas’ Prime Minister Ismail Haneya and senior officials from his government and Islamic Hamas movement, which controlled Gaza, welcomed the Malaysian delegation in an official ceremony at Rafah.
The visit comes as Israeli people head to the polling stations for parliamentary elections. Haneya considered Razak’s visit as “a Palestinian, Arab and Islamic response” to the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit this morning to Jerusalem’s Western Wall.
“The visit (by Netanyahu) is rejected,” Haneya said, stressing that the Western Wall, known for Muslims as Al-Buraq wall, is “an Arab and Islamic wall and that Jerusalem is Islamic.”
Haneya added that the Israeli elections will bring in “a more radical government.”
Razak’s visit to Gaza breaks another barrier in the U.S.-led efforts to isolate Hamas, which doesn’t recognize Israel. “This is an Islamic declaration for breaking the Israeli siege on Gaza,” Haneya said.
In October, Qatar’s Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani became the first head of state to visit Gaza since Hamas took over the territory in 2007, inaugurating rebuilding and development projects.
Razak will lay the foundation stone of an industrial college and visit Haneya’s office that was destroyed during the eight-day clash between Hamas and Israel in November. Malaysia will be funding the rebuilding of Hamas’ cabinet headquarters.