Former Hamas leader recalls how some Muslim countries offered 'conditional aid' for Palestine

Former Leader of Hamas Khaled Mashal in the second round table session entitled ‘The Role of Politics in Development’ in conjunction with the Kuala Lumpur Summit 2019 in Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre December 19, 2019. — Bernama pic
Former Leader of Hamas Khaled Mashal in the second round table session entitled ‘The Role of Politics in Development’ in conjunction with the Kuala Lumpur Summit 2019 in Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre December 19, 2019. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 19 — Former Hamas chief Khaled Mashal today lambasted some Muslim countries that only helped other country’s facing crisis just to insert their own influence over it.

Going through the Palestinian experience, Khaled, who led Hamas from 1996 to 2017 however did not name the Muslim countries but said not receiving aid helped Palestinians resolve their issue on their own to preserve their “identity, religion and culture”.

“Many countries have offered aid to help Palestinians and to develop our country. But the aid does not come free. It comes with conditions.

“We don’t need those conditional aids. We are ready to fight alone to ensure our identity, religion and culture will not be lost from the face of the earth,” he told a roundtable discussion through an interpreter at the Kuala Lumpur Summit (KL Summit) 2019 here today.

Elaborating on their struggle against Israeli occupation, Khaled said they are now are more focused on education and economy as opposed to armed struggle exclusively like in the past.

“Development needs political decision and political will. I give example like Malaysia, the decision made by politicians proves that the development here is the same as Turkey and Qatar,” he said.

The roundtable session titled “The Role of Politics in Development” was also joined by former Tunisia prime minister, Ali Laarayedh, Bersatu deputy president Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, PKR vice president, Zuraida Kamarudin and Turkey’s ruling AK party representative Numan Kurtulmus.

It was moderated by the KL Summit Secretary-General Abderrazak Makri.

Meanwhile, Mukhriz spoke about the Malaysian experience of trying to develop and repair the country’s image using democracy and political decisions after being caught in the 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.

“For example, Malaysia has undergone a very traumatic past for ten years, where after experiencing kleptocracy at the highest position in government, the democratic system via general election was able to provide the means for the people to choose their own leaders to make monumental changes in government.

“It was the people who through the democratic process saved Malaysia from certain disaster,” he said.

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