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Abbas office criticizes Malaysia premier visit to Gaza
Published Tuesday 22/01/2013 (updated) 23/01/2013 18:25
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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.

Abbas' office said in a statement that the Malaysian prime minister's visit to the Hamas-run enclave harmed the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and enhanced division, Wafa reported.

"This visit also serves plans to keep Jerusalem segregated from the state of Palestine which the whole world recognized on Nov. 29, 2012," the president's office said.

The Malaysian premier telephoned Abbas and said he would ship humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, and would meet the president in Cairo, the statement added.

Abdul Razak arrived Tuesday 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.

Abdul 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.

He was 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.

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 ) Charlie / USA
22/01/2013 17:40
Does the "Abbas" office condemn Abbas every time he travels overseas to meet with some foreign leader. Abbas is an illegitimate ruler with no mandate. The Palestinians voted him and his corrupt Fatah out. So why doesn't he just leave. Oh, I forgot Israel and the USA pay him to stay and detract all resistance activities.

2 ) Mel / Gaza
22/01/2013 19:27
Well said Charlie! Why hasn't the "legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" visited the Gaza Strip, his OWN people? 2 wars and still no sight of him! Shame on you Abbas. He should praise the steps taken by the Malaysian PM as well as the Qatari leader since they show support and oppose the siege. Abbas clearly doesn't get it. All he things about is his own power. With such statements he really shows what side he's on!

3 ) WAS / UK
22/01/2013 20:33
"Abbas' office said in a statement that the Malaysian prime minister's visit to the Hamas-run enclave harmed the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people..." Pfff. Don't know whether to laugh or cry at that statement. Ironies of Ironies.

4 ) Paul / Columbia
22/01/2013 22:44
I love it when you people bicker and argue among yourselves in public. Do you not have an overall game plan after 64 years.

5 ) Abu / India
22/01/2013 23:24
I agree with #1 and #2 above completely. If Abbas was so called Palestinian elected / chosen president then the statement should have been "palestinian president's office" rather than "Abbas's office" released a so called non-sense statement.

6 ) Andrew / UK
23/01/2013 00:29
He really said "legitimate representative of the Palestinian people"? Leaving aside the PA's current legitimacy deficit, has anyone even pretended before that it represented all the Palestinian People?

7 ) Tony / USA
23/01/2013 01:26
The Malaysian PM's visit to Gaza is not meant as "endorsement of Hamas" or anything like that. He is there to support the Palestinian people. Just like the comments above, why hasn't Abbas visit the Gaza Strip--why hasn't he visit HIS OWN PEOPLE in the Gaza Strip?

8 ) John / UK
23/01/2013 18:08
#7 why hasn't Abbas visit the Gaza Strip--why hasn't he visit HIS OWN PEOPLE in the Gaza Strip? Simply because Abbas does not consider "his people are Gazans" He plays the same games Hamas does. It was said by the media: Hamas, Abbass's rival or vis a versa. Unity is out of the reach for now.
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