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Malaysia: Israel offensive on Rafah ‘irresponsible, illegal and inhumane’

February 12, 2024 at 10:19 am

Palestinians, including children, collect usable belongings in the heavily damaged buildings, part of which collapsed, after Israeli attacks in Rafah, Gaza on February 12, 2024. [Abed Rahim Khatib – Anadolu Agency]

Malaysia and Japan today expressed deep concern over the large-scale Israeli offensive on Gaza’s southernmost city, where over a million Palestinians have sought refuge, with Kuala Lumpur saying the “Zionist regime goal” of the attacks is to “annihilate the Palestinians from their own land.”

In a strongly-worded statement, the Malaysian Foreign Ministry condemned the new Israeli attack on Palestinians, calling it “irresponsible, illegal and inhumane,” and warned that it will worsen the humanitarian disaster, exacerbate regional tensions, and derail efforts toward an immediate cessation of hostilities and a permanent ceasefire.

Kuala Lumpur demanded Tel Aviv cease its actions immediately and comply with international human rights law.

“This dastardly military operation clearly vindicates the key goal by the Zionist regime to annihilate the Palestinians from their own land,” the ministry’s statement read.

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“It again demonstrates their blatant disregard of fundamental principles of international law and a clear contempt of the last month’s rulings by the International Court of Justice on six provisional measures,” it added.

The international community, it observed, cannot allow one of its members’ belligerent acts to continue with impunity.

“In this regard, Malaysia echoes the calls by the UN Secretary-General for an immediate halt to the vile plan and urges the UN Security Council to take swift and decisive action to stop the massacre being perpetrated by the Zionist regime,” it said.

Malaysia reiterated that its “resolute support and solidarity with the Palestinian people remain unwavering, including towards their right to self-determination, the establishment of an independent and sovereign state of Palestine, based on pre-1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital and accepted as a full UN member.”

Japan also said it is “deeply concerned” about reports of an Israeli military operation in Rafah.

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“Over one million Palestinian people in Gaza have been displaced in Rafah, which is a particularly important location for the delivery of humanitarian supplies,” a statement from the Foreign Ministry said.

As the humanitarian situation on the ground deteriorates and the number of civilian casualties, including a large number of children, women and elderly people, continues to rise, it is crucial to improve the humanitarian situation as soon as possible and to create an environment in which humanitarian assistance activities can be carried out, it added.

“Japan once again reiterates the importance of the protection of civilians, and urges all parties to act in accordance with international law, including international humanitarian law, and to act in good faith based on relevant UN Security Council resolutions, including ensuring humanitarian assistance,” it said.

Israel began bombing Rafah last night, killing scores of Palestinians in the area which had been deemed a “safe zone” and into which Palestinian had been forced to evacuate after their cities and homes were bombed and shelled by occupation forces on or after 7 October.

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