The Outer

‘It didn’t begin on Oct. 7’: Malaysia PM slams Western ‘hypocrisy’ on Gaza

By Manal Abdel Fattah

Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has criticised Western countries for their lack of action against Israel’s atrocities in besieged Gaza, asking “Where have we thrown our humanity, why this hypocrisy?”

Western countries should put an end to their “selective” and “ambivalent” attitude, Ibrahim said in a joint news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, following their meeting in Berlin on Monday.

Asked whether he condemned a cross-fence attack by Palestinian resistance group Hamas on October 7, and whether he supported Israeli invasion to free hostages, he said: “What I reject strongly is this narrative, this obsession, as if the entire problem begins and ends with the 7th of October. It did not begin with the 7th October, and did not end with the 7th of October. It began four decades before that, and it is continuing daily”

Ibrahim said Israel’s decades-long policies against Palestinians and its atrocities were the root cause of the ongoing conflict.

“We oppose colonialism, or apartheid, or ethnic cleansing, or dispossession of any country, be it in Ukraine, or in Gaza. We cannot erase 40 years of atrocities, and dispossession, which have resulted in reaction, and anger, from the people,” he said.

Ibrahim said his country has contacts with the political wing of Hamas and that this engagement has helped them raise some concerns with group, including the situation of the hostages.

“I don’t have this excellent relationship with Hamas. But yes, I did express my concern that hostages must be released,” the prime minister said.

He underlined that his country had no relations with the military wing of Hamas.

Ibrahim also mentioned that despite their differences with Scholz on the Middle East conflict, they agreed on the need for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, and the urgent need to deliver more humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians.

“I agree with what the chancellor has said on the final, two-state solution to ensure there’s peace for both countries, and to work on a concept to ensure that there is economic development and progress for the people,” he said.

Germany calls for Ramadan truce

Scholz, for his part, reiterated Germany bears a special responsibility for Israel and supports its right to defend itself against Hamas.

He also, however, repeated Berlin’s call for a humanitarian ceasefire during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in order to enable the delivery of life-saving supplies for Palestinian civilians.

“We think that a ground offensive on Rafah would not be the right thing to do. An important step now would be a ceasefire that lasts longer, ideally already during Ramadan,” he said.

Israel has waged a brutal military invasion on Gaza since October 7, 2023 when Hamas fighters launched a blitz on Israeli troops and settlements near Gaza fence.

Hamas says its raid was in reaction to Israel’s “ethnic cleansing and genocide” it perpetrates against the Palestinian people, the severe human rights violations committed by Israeli occupation forces, Israel’s seizure of Palestinian lands, and the continuous Judaisation of occupied Jerusalem and the Al Asqa Mosque complex.

Since then Israel has killed more than 31,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and wounded over 72,600 others.

Five months of Israeli war has destroyed some 60 percent of Palestinian infrastructure, forced around 80 percent of Gaza’s 2.3 million people from their homes and pushed hundreds of thousands to the brink of starvation.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to ensure its forces do not commit acts of genocide, and guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

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