New York: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said the current war on terrorism will not end until the root causes are found and removed and hearts and minds are won.
In his speech at the United Nations General Assembly’s 73rd session in New York, Mahathir said: “What are the root causes? In 1948, Palestinian land was seized to form the state of Israel. The Palestinians were massacred and forced to leave their land. Their houses and farms were seized.”
The Malaysian premier said the Palestinians tried to fight a conventional war with help from sympathetic neighbors, but the friends of Israel ensured this attempt failed. He stated that more Palestinian territories were seized for Israeli settlement construction, pointing out that Palestinians are denied access to these settlements built on their land.
“The Palestinians initially tried to fight with catapults and stones. They were shot with live bullets and arrested. Thousands are incarcerated,” Mahathir said.
“The world does not care even when Israel breaks international laws, seizing ships carrying medicine, food and building materials in international waters,” he said, adding that when Palestinians fired ineffective rockets which hurt no one, Isreal mounted massive retaliatory attacks, bombing hospitals, schools and other buildings, killing innocent civilians including school children, hospital patients and others.
“The world rewards Israel, deliberately provoking Palestine by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Mahathir said.
“It is the anger and frustration of the Palestinians and their sympathizers that cause them to resort to what we call terrorism. But it is important to acknowledge that any act which terrifies people also constitute terrorism. And states dropping bombs or launching rockets which maim and kill innocent people also terrify people. These are also acts of terrorism,” he noted.