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Malaysian premier arrives in Gaza Strip
Published Tuesday 22/01/2013 (updated) 23/01/2013 14:51
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GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The prime minister of Malaysia arrived in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, the first visit of its kind in diplomatic relations between both governments.

Prime Minister Muhammad Najib Abdul Razak arrived in Gaza via the Rafah crossing, accompanied by his wife, and was welcomed by a Hamas delegation led by Gaza premier Ismail Haniyeh.

The Malaysian premier held a brief press conference, praising the Palestinian people for enduring Israel's oppression and urging Palestinian factions to unite.

"We believe in the struggle of the Palestinian people. They have been suppressed and oppressed for so long," Najib told reporters as he was greeted by officials from Gaza's Hamas government.

"We may be far from you in distance, but we are one nation and believe in the struggle of the Palestinian people," he added.

Haniyeh thanked the government and people of Malaysia for their support for the Palestinian people.

Razak visited a Gaza university and government offices, as well as the family of top Hamas military chief Ahmed al-Jaabari, whose assassination by Israel in November started an eight-day war in which more than 160 Palestinians and six Israelis died.

Abdul Razak is expected to open several projects in Gaza, and will lay a foundation stone for the Gaza government's cabinet building, which was destroyed during Israel's November assault.

President Abbas' office condemned the visit, saying "it enhances division and does not serve Palestinian interests."

In October last year, the emir of Qatar made a historic visit to the Gaza Strip, the first head of state to enter Gaza since 1999.

Gaza’s Hamas rulers said the visit by Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani had broken the Israeli siege, and Palestinians lined the street to welcome the emir.

Reuters contributed to this report
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1 ) shirley S / Australia
22/01/2013 14:27
malaysia the couragous who held war crimes tribunal and found BUSH AND BLAIR guilty and this goes down in Rome statuteand time for Iraq and malaki to do the same and support truth and start proceedings against US and demand war restitution from from NATOthe US has altered the genetic code of many Iraqis through use depleted uranuium and registered higher than hiroshima and hundreds of ABU GHRABS

2 ) GAZA TO THE UNITED NATIONS / ALL TOGETHER NOW
22/01/2013 15:29
LET GAZA BECOME A MEMEBER OF THE UNITED NATIONS!!!

3 ) MEL / USA
22/01/2013 15:55
Bravo! The size of the global consensus of human support FOR Palestinian human beings makes the hated Zionist Iron Wall of Soweto-Warsaw-apartheid look rather like a piece of my grandson's Lego!!Especially when he's had enough of it,& KNOCKS it down,saying,"Let's build something else Gramps?" The global consensus surrounds Zionism,& the empathy/sympathy for Palestinian suffering under the abuse of Jewish-Zionist POWER, is a POWERFUL,HUMAN BRIDGE that spans the gap,CONTIGUOUSLY!

4 ) lollolol / no likey in west bank
22/01/2013 18:28
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The office of President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday criticized a visit by Malaysian premier Muhammad Najib Abdul Razak to the Gaza Strip, Palestinian Authority media reported.

5 ) Tony / USA
23/01/2013 01:46
To the person that said "let Gaza become a UN member": Gaza is an integral part of Palestine and shall not be divided.
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