‘OIC must call for immediate ceasefire’: PM Anwar

PM Anwar also called on international institutions to investigate and prosecute all breaches of international law, including war crimes.


PM Anwar posing ahead of an OIC meeting with heads of states including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (front row, third from right) and Fattah (front row, second from left) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. PHOTO: AFP/THE STAR

November 13, 2023

RIYADH – Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member countries must consistently and assertively call for an immediate ceasefire and expedite humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.Speaking during the 8th Extraordinary Islamic Summit of the OIC here to discuss the ongoing Israeli aggression in Palestine, he said the ummah expects tangible results and concrete action from the one-day Islamic summit.

“I call upon each of us (OIC members) to strategically employ our diplomatic channels and networks in every dialogue and on every stage, be it bilateral or multilateral, regional or international.

“Let us consistently and assertively call for a concerted diplomatic campaign to institute an immediate ceasefire and expedite humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza,” he said, Bernama reported.

The meeting, held at the King Abdulaziz International Conference Centre here, was hosted by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is also Saudi Arabia’s Prime Minister.

More than 11,000 Palestinians, a majority of them women and children, have been killed as a result of more than a month of relentless Israeli airstrikes and brutal ground operations in Gaza.

Thousands remain unaccounted for, believed to be trapped under the rubble of razed buildings. 

According to an international human rights organisation, intense bombing by Israel saw its fighter aircraft drop more than 25,000 tonnes of explosives on the Gaza Strip since Oct 7, which is equivalent to two nuclear bombs.

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Anwar hoped for all Israeli settlement activities and settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank to immediately cease.

He also called on international institutions to investigate and prosecute all breaches of international law, including war crimes.

Malaysia, according to Anwar, supports the Arab Peace Initiative and negotiations with reputable mediators to advance the two-state solution with a recognition of the independent state of Palestine based on the pre-1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The Prime Minister wants the forced displacement of civilians to immediately cease.

He wants OIC member countries to combat the global rise of Islamophobia while safeguarding the right to peaceful expressions of support for the Palestinian cause.

For over a month, he said, the besieged people of Gaza have been subjected to barbaric cruelties and genocide by Israeli forces, indiscriminately targeting men, women and children.

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“Gaza has become a graveyard of martyred innocents, mostly children of Palestine. Neither homes, hospitals, nor religious sanctuaries, Muslim or Christian, are safe from Israel’s indiscriminate attacks,” he said.

According to Anwar, this continuation of the politics of dispossession of the Palestinians is not taking place in the dead of night but is being perpetrated in full view of the world in a flagrant breach of international law.

“The political class of western nations exhibits a selective myopia towards the turmoil in Palestine.”

He said a sea of change in awareness has taken root, as shown in mass demonstrations of unprecedented proportion throughout the world, including the western world, in support of Palestine.

“Ironically, in these capitals that herald free speech and human rights as sacrosanct rights, some authorities have denounced proponents of the Palestinian cause, maligning them as purveyors of hate speech and supporters of terrorism.

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“This is perverse double standards writ large,” he said.

He applauded the initiative of Saudi Arabia to convene this Extraordinary Arab and Islamic Summit.

“And I commend Your Highness for setting the tone of unequivocal support for the Palestinian cause and for your condemnation of the colonisation and atrocities committed by Israel. I wish to also thank President Fattah El-Sisi of Egypt for facilitating humanitarian aid,” he said.

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