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Hamas leader asks for UMNO's support and solidarity against Israel's annexation plan

KUALA LUMPUR: Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh delivered a letter to UMNO President Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as part of the movement's political efforts to gain international support in protesting Israel's planned annexation of parts of the West Bank.

Palestinian Cultural Organisation Malaysia (PCOM) Chairman, Muslim Imran, who delivered the letter on behalf of Haniyeh, said the content of the letter among others asked for solidarity from the Muslim world in this trying time for the Palestinians.

"Since Hamas and Palestinians have had very good relations with Malaysia and all components of the Malaysian political system, now Palestinians are asking Malaysian political groups to express their solidarity with Palestinians and mobilise whatever efforts they can to pressure the US and Israel to end the annexation plan," he told Bernama yesterday.

Muslim said letters will also be delivered to other political parties in Malaysia.

Last week, Haniyeh delivered several letters to leaders in the Muslim world.

Israel's unity government, formed in May between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his political rival Benny Gantz, agreed to initiate legislation to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank starting July 1, in line with US President Donald Trump's so-called "Deal of The Century".

West Bank, including East Jerusalem, has been under Israeli occupation since the 1967 Six-Day War, making all Jewish settlements there as well as the planned annexation illegal.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Zahid, in his Facebook post, said the letter by Haniyeh stated among others the hope that all political parties in the Arab and Muslim world would stop the normalisation of ties with Israel following the annexation plan.

"Hamas wants to emphasise on human rights abuses against Palestine. The plan seems to give Tel Aviv a 'licence' to continue its atrocities with the support of the United States and several other countries," Ahmad Zahid's Facebook posting reads.

He said the Hamas leader also wants all governments, political parties and organisations in the Muslim world to work together for the Palestinian cause through various ways including conferences.