Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak arrived in Gaza via the Rafah bordering crossing for a short visit on Tuesday. The senior Malaysian government official is scheduled to meet members of parliament and Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. Razak was also set to meet members of the Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing.
The Gazan Prime Minister lauded Malaysia for the diplomatic visit. “Malaysia is an Islamic state with a great civilisation,” said Haniyeh at a press conference according to state-owned MENA. “Malaysia embodies the story of remarkable prosperity and growth and supports the Palestinian right to liberation.”
Razak said his visit to the Gaza Strip was an expression of solidarity with the Palestinian people against Israeli aggression. He also advocated an accelerated path to a united Palestinian government between the West Bank and Gaza.
The two sides also affirmed a new chapter in relations between Palestine and Malaysia.
Razak’s visit to Gaza was part of a three-day visit to Cairo with a number of high level government officials and Malaysian businessmen. He spoke about the upcoming Islamic summit, which is scheduled to take place in Cairo on 6-7 February. He and his delegation also discussed strengthening bilateral relations between Malaysia and Egypt, especially through business investments.
Razak is scheduled to meet with President Mohamed Morsy, back in Cairo from Saudi Arabia, upon his return from Gaza to discuss reconstruction efforts in the area that was bombarded by Israel last November.
Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani has also used the Rafah border crossing to enter Gaza, and Egypt has given him authorisation to use it to transport construction materials to the territory in order to contribute to reconstruction efforts.