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Rare moment of solidarity in Parliament - malaysiakini

Malaysiakini's report:

The United Nations must act urgently in forcing Israel to stop its attacks in Gaza and at the same time to set up a War Crimes Tribunal to look into atrocities done against the Palestinians, said Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today.

israel gaza offensive attack 090109 02The premier also strongly condemned Israel's military attacks, which have killed many Palestinian civilians, including women, children and old folk, and demanded the full withdrawal of Israeli forces in Gaza.

He said these in a motion tabled in Dewan Rakyat this afternoon. His motion was received positively by parliamentarians from both sides.

The motion was seconded by deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak. The motion was passed unanimously at 10pm following Foreign Minister Rais Yatim's winding up address.

The premier outlined his 10-point resolution in his 20-minute speech.

The resolutions in the motion also included:

  • to urge the UN Security Council to compel Israel to stop its military attacks immediately in Gaza and send in UN peacekeepers;

  • to convene an emergency session of the UN General Assembly on the matter;

  • to call on all parties to continue with the peace process and implement all resolutions which have been resolved by the United Nations on the Palestine and Arab-Israel conflict.

Abdullah also called on the Palestinians to unite to set up an independent Palestinian state. He also urged the international community to offer humanitarian aid to the people in Gaza and Palestine.

The resolution would be presented to the US Congress, the British Parliament and other related Parliaments.

The worst Zionist attacks

Abdullah said that the Israeli bombardment and devastation in Gaza should be condemned by the world as it violated the international law.

"The attack on the Palestinian territory in Gaza violates international law, human rights law, international human rights law, the UN's charter, and is a war crime as it violates the Fourth Geneva Convention 1949 on the protection of civilians in times of war," he said.

Abdullah's resolution also contained Malaysia's resolve to work with the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), Arab League and like-minded countries to uphold international principles and the UN Charter in tackling the ongoing crisis in the Middle East.

He said that the latest attack was the worst by the Zionist regime since it first occupied the territory in 1967 which resulted in the devastation of the small and defenceless region.

"Unfortunately, there are certain quarters who have been blaming the Hamas fighters in Gaza for launching rockets towards Israel. But these are acts by people who have been encircled, whose movements are restricted even within their own territories.

"On Dec 27, Prof Richard Falk, the UN's special rappateur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, has described Israel's bombardment of Gaza as severe and massive violations of international humanitarian law," he said.

Najib: They are like serial terrorists

Najib meanwhile said that the atrocities inflicted by the Isreali regime upon the Palestinians in Gaza were similar to acts by serial terrorists.

"If such threats are not condemned in the highest degree and put to an end, peace and sovereignty of a country in the world can no longer be guaranteed," he said when seconding Abdullah's motion.

najib on kuala terengganu by election 060109 03He said Israel wantonly invaded and occupied new borders in Palestine and this was proven with the expansion of its regions by 30 percent from its original size in 1948.

Najib said the Israeli bombing of Gaza since Dec 27 was a collective penalty targetted at the innocent public justified by an inhuman war.

He said Israel's law of the jungle continued to be rampant because of the support from US which has influence in the UN Security Council.

He said the super power also constantly tried to block any resolutions to end the Palestinian crisis and this was proven by the US using its veto 28 times other past 36 years.

Look at our backyard too

Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim also supported the motion, stating that the Palestinians plight was a world tragedy.

israel air strikes against hamas in gaza strip palestineHe also said that the United States of America, as a world power, should play an important role in solving the crisis.

"I hope the Dewan can send a message to the US to reconsider its military support worth RM21 billion to Israel," he said.

"Pakatan Rakyat also urged the UN to do more in ensuring a ceasefire between the Israeli and Palestinians."

He said he appreciated Abdullah's commitments to end the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

"Essentially Pakatan Rakyat oppose and condemn all types of atrocities, no matter wherever they are done, be it in Israel, the US or even by the Malaysian government," he said.

"I urge everyone that while we condemn Israel, the time has also come for us to do away with our draconian laws, such as the Internal Security Act," he said.

Clout to coax international community

The special sitting today was an extension of the initiatives adopted by the government to get the Tel Aviv regime to stop the atrocities it launched on Dec 27 last year against the Palestinians and the various amenities in Gaza, home to 1.5 million people.

israel gaza offensive attack 090109 03According to an earlier Bernama report, the special sitting was significant in figuring out further initiatives following Israel's rejection of a United Nations resolution adopted on Friday calling for an immediate cease-fire. The United States had abstained in the UN vote.

The report also added that Malaysia, for long a strong supporter of the struggle of the Palestinian people, is seen by many as having the clout to coax the international community to adopt efforts to free the people of Palestine from Israel.

This was, more or less, evident when the UN responded positively to a request from Malaysia and Brazil to convene a special session, which took place on Friday.

Nevertheless, the Malaysian government has expressed disappointment over the UN resolution which it felt had failed to consider several important elements hoped for by the majority of the international community, such as humanitarian aid and the formation of an international peace-keeping force.

OIC peace-keeping force

Malaysia has all along rejected the Israeli occupation of Palestine which has seen the conflict prolong since 1948 following the establishment of Israel and the displacement of millions of Palestinians from their homeland.

The latest conflict saw Malaysians reacting along with the peace-loving international community seeking justice to demand an immediate stop to the Israeli atrocities in the Gaza Strip.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has also proposed that the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) set up a peace-keeping force to be despatched to Islamic countries faced with conflicts such as that in Palestine.

Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has proposed that the special sitting of the Dewan Rakyat adopt a resolution for the UN to set up a tribunal to investigate and prosecute Israeli war crimes, as had been suggested by Francis Boyle, an expert in international law and human rights, from the United States.

Others have also called for the boycott of products of Israel's allies, including the United States.

The Malaysian government has also offered US$1 million (RM3.6 million) in humanitarian aid for the people of Palestine, to be channelled through voluntary relief agency Mercy Malaysia, and relaunched the humanitarian fund of Wisma Putra to help the Palestinians -