Thursday, November 21, 2019

Malaysia plans to open embassy to Palestine


By Yehudit Tzfat - October 31, 2019
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Malaysia’s prime minister, Mahathir Mohammad, announced last week that his country will open an embassy to Palestine, as support for the Palestinian struggle grows in the Asian nation.


Acknowledging that Israel will not allow Malaysia to open an embassy in the occupied Palestinian territories, he said the embassy will be located in Jordan but accredited to Palestine. He asserted that the Jordan-based embassy will be better situated to facilitate aid to Palestinians. 


Palestine currently has an embassy in Kuala Lumpur and the Malaysian Ambassador to Egypt is accredited to Palestine.


Mahathir announced during the 18th summit of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Azerbaijan. During his speech, he chastised the international community for “doing nothing” on Israeli violations against Palestinians. 


"I would also like to bring to this occasion on the fate that awaits our poor Palestinian brothers. Palestine remains occupied by a brutal regime. This regime continues to expand illegal settlements on land that rightfully belongs to the Palestinians," Mahathir said.

"It is unfortunate that a world organisation set up by powerful nations now sees those very people ignoring the resolutions of that world body. Now, we see others doing the same,” the leader added.

Representatives and leaders from at least 120 NAM member countries were present during the meeting in Baku. 

Mahathir also criticised Israel’s increasing annexation of the West Bank and the Jewish state’s declaration of Jerusalem as its capital. 

Many Western countries are supporting this move by relocating or vowing to relocate their embassies there. Malaysia does not agree with this," he said. Mahathir called on NAM member states who have already relocated their Israeli embassies, or plan to do so, to reconsider this controversial move. 


Currently, no countries have embassies in Palestine. A handful of consulates exist in Bethlehem and numerous country representative offices are in Ramallah. Besides the planned Malaysian embassy, only Madagascar has an embassy accredited to Palestine in Algiers. 


Support for Palestinian rights has grown significantly in Malaysia recently. Malaysia’s MyAQSA Foundation said it has gathered enough evidence and witness accounts to submit to the International Criminal Court “to allow Israel to be charged with crimes against humanity.” 


The organisation conducted several investigations into three illegal Israeli settlements and is now preparing “a full report on the delegation’s visit to Jerusalem with strong evidence to condemn Israel for crimes against humanity.” Their findings will be presented to prosecutors at the end of the year.

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