Khalid Meshaal, former chairperson of Hamas, today met with Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to convey the situation and struggles in Palestine.
A delegation of eight Hamas leaders led by Khalid had a discussion with Mahathir which lasted for about an hour.
Met by reporters after the meeting, Khalid said Hamas thanked Mahathir for the warm welcome accorded to his delegation.
He also conveyed gratitude to the prime minister for his continuous stand together with Palestinians to end Israeli occupation of the territory.
“Israeli aggression and practices are transforming the identity of the holy city of Jerusalem, while the people of Gaza people are suffering from regular aggression, attacks, starvation and blockades,” he said.
Khalid (photo) said Hamas also expressed its hopes that Mahathir, as a senior leader of the Muslim ummah (global community), would play a role in ending the aggression against the Palestinian people, especially in the Gaza Strip.
“We also spoke about the United States' 'deal of the century' aimed to end the Palestinian struggle and settle the issue unfairly,” he added.
Khalid claimed that the economic part of the "deal of the century" peace plan to be announced in Bahrain next month was aimed to divert attention from the real cause of the strife in Palestine.
He added that the meeting was also a good opportunity to tell Malaysians that the Palestinian people are steadfast and resisting occupation.
“We ask for support from fellow friends, leaders of the Muslim ummah and the rest of the world in gaining our rights back and ending Israeli occupation,” he stressed.
Scholarships for Palestinians
Separately, Mahathir said the government has decided to offer scholarships to Palestinian students to pursue bachelor, masters, and PhD courses in 12 local universities.
The scholarships, worth RM11.48 million, will be offered through the Palestinian Cultural Organisation Malaysia (PCOM).
The prime minister made the announcement at a breaking fast event organised by PCOM at Puspanitapuri in Putrajaya.
Mahathir's wife Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali was also present at the event, along with Khalid and PCOM chairperson Muslim Abu Umar.
Among the 12 universities are Albukhary International University, Mahsa University, Kolej Universiti Islam Perlis, Multimedia University, UCSI University, Universiti Teknologi Petronas, Universiti Tenaga Nasional, Sunway University, Universiti Kuala Lumpur and Universiti Utara Malaysia.
The scholarship offer is an initiative of Education Minister Maszlee Malik.