Hamas chief Ismail Haniya to meet Mahathir over Palestinian issues

Hamas chief Ismail Haniya and Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad are expected to discuss Malaysia’s support for the Palestinian cause.

PETALING JAYA: The chief of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) Ismail Haniya is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad in Putrajaya today to discuss further support for the Palestinian cause.

An officer at the Prime Minister’s office confirmed that a meeting has been arranged.

The Palestinian Cultural Organisation Malaysia (PCOM) also said a closed-door meeting with Mahathir and other leaders would be held this weekend.

Hamas is the de facto authority of the Gaza Strip since they took over the area in 2007.

It was reported that Ismail arrived in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday.

In late May 2019, a Hamas delegation led by its former head of office, Khaled Meshaal, had met with Mahathir and other government and opposition leaders.

The group had also met Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu, and opposition leaders such as Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang.

It was reported that they had discussed the plight of the Palestinian people at the Gaza Strip under the Israeli regime and planned for active bilateral ties between the government of Malaysia and Palestine, with a focus on establishing ties with Hamas in particular.

Mahathir is a known advocate of the Palestinian cause and has publicly opposed the Israeli government during various international forums, most recent being his speech at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly last September.