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Malaysian activist urges world to stand against Israel ahead of annexation

“We were kidnapped in international waters, and taken to Israeli prisons”

A Malaysian citizen who was detained by Israeli soldiers in 2016 during a humanitarian mission to Gaza has called out governments around the world for their lack of commitment to Palestinian human rights.

Dr Fauziah Hasan made her comment during a televised speech in which she also advocated against Israel's proposed annexation of large parts of the occupied West Bank.

"The illegal state of Israel has been robbing and stealing Palestinian land and properties for more than 70 years," said Hasan. "It keeps on robbing and stealing until its dream of establishing 'Greater Israel' can be realised."

Dr Hasan is on the board of trustees of NGO Humanitarian Care Malaysia. She pointed out that since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Israelis have detained 800 Palestinians, including 10 women and 90 children. Moreover, 65 homes have been demolished in the same period. "This is all illegal according to international law and conventions."

READ: Refugees in Gaza, decades on

During her speech broadcast earlier today, Dr Hasan recounted her experience as one of 13 activists on board a yacht that sailed towards the besieged Gaza Strip in 2016 with the aim of breaking the Israeli-imposed blockade. Among the group was 1976 Nobel Peace laureate Mairead Maguire. However, the Zaytouna-Oliva was intercepted in international waters 65 kilometres from the Gaza coast.

Elaborating on the Women's Boat to Gaza mission, she said that the activists were aware that there was just a slim chance of them being able to break the blockade. However, the mission was part of the wider Freedom Flotilla Coalition which aims to make the whole world aware of the plight of the Palestinian people, especially those living in Gaza.

"We were kidnapped in international waters, and taken to Israeli prisons," explained Hasan. "We were later deported to Thailand because my beloved country, Malaysia, has no diplomatic relationship with the illegal state of Israel."

She urged people around the world to voice their concerns and outrage through social media to show solidarity with the Palestinians in every aspect of life: political, financial, moral, spiritual and media. "All fair governments should fulfil their obligations under international law by supporting the International Criminal Court's investigation of Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the occupied Palestinian territories," she concluded.

READ: 'Why are simple tasks made so difficult in Palestine?' asks filmmaker Farah Nabulsi

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