Malaysia condemns Israel over military aggression against Gaza

Mahathir Mohamad condemned Israel over the use of military force against Palestinian protesters who were marching to mark the anniversary of the Great March of Return. (Reuters)
Updated 02 April 2019

Malaysia condemns Israel over military aggression against Gaza

  • Mahathir Mohamad: I strongly condemn the excessive use of force by Israel toward the Palestinians - I urge Israel to respect international humanitarian law
  • The Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also slammed Israel for using live rounds, rubber bullets and tear gas on protesters, injuring 300

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian prime minister on Tuesday condemned the Israeli government over the use of military force against Palestinian protesters who were marching to mark the anniversary of the Great March of Return in the Gaza Strip.

“I strongly condemn the excessive use of force in retaliation by Israel toward the Palestinians, using hundreds of missiles from Israeli warplanes and the placement of military assets at the border,” Mahathir Mohamad said in a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office.

Since last Saturday, a large mass of protesters have demonstrated along the Gaza fence to demand the right to return to their homes in occupied Palestine, as well as to demand an end to Israel’s 12-year blockade of the Gaza Strip. 

Earlier, the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs slammed Israel for using “live rounds, rubber bullets and tear gas” on protesters, injuring 300.

The 93-year-old premier is deeply concerned about the escalating violence in Gaza and regards Israel’s recent actions as “systematic acts of violent aggression, incitement, provocation and collective punishment against defenseless Palestinians.”

The Southeast Asian nation has called on Israel for a cease-fire between the two sides, while condemning the international community for its “silence” on the matter.

“I call for all parties to de-escalate the growing tension and to restore calm. I urge Israel to respect international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians. The cease-fire must be fully respected,” said Mahathir, adding that “many innocent lives” had been lost due to the conflict between Israel and Palestine. 

Muslim Imran, president of the Palestinian Cultural Organization based in Malaysia, told Arab News that he applauded Malaysia for being consistent about its stance on the Palestine issue. 

“The Palestinians are highly appreciative of Malaysia’s stance. I hope other Islamic nations, members of the OIC and UN would be vocal and play an active role to help end Israeli’s violations,” Imran said. 

“Malaysia’s solidarity has come at a time when some Arab nations are in internal turmoil, therefore Malaysia’s solidarity has become more important and more essential,” he said. 

Malaysia does not recognize Israel as a country and has received backlash by some for being “anti-Semitic.” In January, Malaysia banned Israel from entering Malaysia to compete in an international Paralympic swimming championship. 

Last week, Malaysia condemned US President Donald Trump for his recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over Syria’s Golan Heights region.


Russia says world’s largest nuclear icebreaker embarks on Arctic voyage

Updated 22 September 2020

Russia says world’s largest nuclear icebreaker embarks on Arctic voyage

  • Russian state firm Rosatomflot has called the vessel the world’s largest and most powerful icebreaker
  • The ship was named after a Soviet-era icebreaker of the same name that in 1977 became the first surface ship to reach the North Pole

MOSCOW: A nuclear-powered ice breaker Russia says is the world’s largest and most powerful set off on Tuesday on a two-week journey to the Arctic as part of Moscow’s efforts to tap the region’s commercial potential.
Known as “Arktika,” the nuclear icebreaker left St. Petersburg and headed for the Arctic port of Murmansk, a journey that marks its entry into Russia’s icebreaker fleet.
Russian state firm Rosatomflot has called the vessel the world’s largest and most powerful icebreaker. It is more than 173 meters long, designed for a crew of 53, and can break ice almost three-meters thick.
The ship is seen as crucial to Moscow’s efforts to develop the Northern Sea Route, which runs from Murmansk to the Bering Strait near Alaska.
Amid warmer climate cycles, Russia hopes the route could become a mini Suez Canal, cutting sea transport times from Asia to Europe.
“The creation of a modern nuclear icebreaker fleet capable of ensuring regular year-round and safe navigation through the entire Northern Sea Route is a strategic task for our country,” Vyacheslav Ruksha, head of Rosatom’s Northern Sea Route Directorate, said in a statement.
Prior to its voyage to the Arctic, the icebreaker was tested during sea trials in the stormy waters of the Gulf of Finland, navigating its way through high winds and towering waves.
The ship was named after a Soviet-era icebreaker of the same name that in 1977 became the first surface ship to reach the North Pole.
Russia has stepped up its construction of icebreakers in a bid to increase freight traffic in Arctic waters.
President Vladimir Putin said last year that the country’s Arctic fleet would operate at least 13 heavy-duty icebreakers, the majority of which would be powered by nuclear reactors.