Kuala Lumpur, 19 April 2022 (TDI): Malaysia re-affirmed its support for the Palestinians and condemned the Israeli military raids and aggression against the Muslims offering their prayers inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque and being assaulted by the Israeli forces.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia, Datto Sri Saifuddin condemned Israel for its cruelty in the Al-Aqsa Mosque during the month of Ramadan and assured Palestine of its unchanging continuous support against Isreal advancements of violating civic order. He assured the sanctity of the Al-Aqsa to be protected.

The violence erupted when the Israeli forces stormed the compound on the occasion of a Jewish festival that coincided with the Muslim month of fasting; Ramadan. Israeli forces attacked Muslim worshipers at the Holy Esplanade (haram ul sharif).

Scores of Palestinians were injured and detained. A senior Palestinian official said Israel’s dangerous escalation in the Al-Aqsa compound is a blatant attack on the holy places and called the international community to intervene.

Malaysia-Palestine Ties

The relationship between Malaysia and Palestine is strong & brotherly. In 2021 approximately 3,000 to 5,000 Palestinian students were in Malaysia. Palestinians are choosing Malaysia for temporary refuge.

Malaysia has always stood up for rights and freedom and supported Palestinian struggles and its fight for self-determination. Malaysia also refuses to recognize the state of Israel until a peace agreement is reached to realize the two-nation solution.

Palestine: An Overview

The word Palestine is derived from Philistia, the name given by Greek writers to the land of the Philistines, a small land occupied in the 12th century on the southern coast between modern Tel Aviv, Yafo, and Gaza.

Geographically located between the Mediterranean sea and Jordan, the State of Palestine is recognized by 138 United Nations (UN) members and since 2012 maintains a non-member observer status in the UN.

In the late 19th century following the collapse of the Ottoman Turkish Empire which ruled a large portion of the Middle East along the eastern Mediterranean from 1516 to 1917, the region was religiously diversified including Jews, Muslims, and Christians.

They all shared the same place for hundreds of years without any conflict or war. In the late 19th and 20th centuries with the fall of the Ottoman Turkish Empire after the allied forces defeated the central powers in World War-1 in 1918, two years later League of Nations was established to ensure world peace.

British took control of the area known as Palestine. The area consisted of a majority of Muslims and a Jewish minority. Tension gripped the area when the international community encouraged the British of controlling Palestine by establishing a national home for the Jewish community.

Jews consider Palestine as their ancestral home with an opposed claim by the Palestinian. The United Nations expressed its notion that the British mandate for Palestine was a temporary arrangement till the Palestinians get their sovereign state. But unfortunately, it could never reach a conclusive dialogue.

Zionism

Zionism was an ideology and a movement to establish a Jewish state in Palestine. They were not just a religious group but rather an ethnic group.

In 1917 Balfour Declaration led to a turning point in their conflict without giving Arabs any political or national rights creating a Jewish state which was blatantly disapproved by Arabs and labeling them as rebels.

Arabs argued that they represented the majority of the population and demanded more territory. In the meanwhile, Palestinians started organizing their own armies.

In May 1948, Britain withdrew its support to Palestine and declared Israel an independent state which infuriated the Arabs and its neighboring armies.

First Arab Israel War

To prevent Israel’s independent status, a civil war broke out and nulled the plan on 14 May 1948 Arab countries invaded the former British mandate and engaged the Israel forces in the first Arab Israel war.

In 1947, the United Nation voted for a split with a separate Jewish and Arab state with Jerusalem becoming an international city. Arabs didn’t support and accept this plan, so it was never implemented.

Al NAKBA or Catastrophe

Since the British failed to create peace, law, and order in the region they declared the state of Jews in 1948 which was followed by a gruesome war leaving hundreds of thousand people to leave or be forced to leave their homes which were referred to as Al NAKBA or Catastrophe.

A cease-fire ended the war and led to 700,000 Palestinian refugees and the area being controlled by Israel. Jerusalem was divided between Israeli forces in the West and Jordanian forces in the East.

Since there has never been a peace agreement between the two, war and conflict always color the painting of aggression and hostility by the Israelis.

Most Palestinian refugees and their descendants live in Gaza and the West Bank as well in the neighboring Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. Palestinians were not allowed to enter or return to their homes.

Jewish Settlements

Israel claimed that this would threaten the country its existence as a Jew state. In the past 50 years, Israel has built settlements in these areas which are strictly illegal.

The settlements themselves are a source to fuel and ignite war crimes and a cause of significant human rights abuses where more than 600,000 Jews live now illegally, as per international law.

During the armed conflict in May 2021, Israel committed war crimes against humanity in the Gaza strip. According to the office of the UN High Commission or Human Rights by 10th May in 2021, 250 Palestinians were injured during police operations against peaceful protests in east Jerusalem.

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