KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian government hopes that there will be a permanent ceasefire in Palestine, saying that the current four-day ceasefire is only the first step to ending genocide in Gaza.

In an interview with Al-Jazeera Mubasher released today, Malaysian Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil said the four-day ceasefire is something that Malaysia, along with Indonesia and other Muslim countries, has always welcomed but is still hoping that a permanent solution can be found to end the conflict.

“I think this is the first step... I believe that probably a lot more needs to be done, as Israel has not indicated that it intends to stop its war effort, and this to me is worrying. And at the same time, we hope that there is no further escalation of conflict, particularly at the border areas, for example, between Lebanon and Israel,” he said in an in-depth interview with the media organisation.

Fahmi said Malaysia also believed that there is a need to reach a consensus at the international level, and for this, the Malaysian government stands ready to play its part, not only to voice its dissatisfaction with ‘how slow things have been to arrive at a humanitarian ceasefire’, but also to look forward to further progress to end the war and genocide.

Hamas said on Wednesday that it has reached a four-day ceasefire agreement with Israel under Qatari-Egyptian mediation after 46 days of bloody conflict in the besieged coastal enclave.

Under the Qatar-mediated agreement, Hamas agreed to release 50 Israelis held by them in exchange for 150 Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails. The deal also includes a four-day pause in fighting and the entry of 300 trucks loaded with humanitarian aid, including fuel, into the Gaza Strip.

Explaining further, Fahmi said that although Malaysia is not a signatory to the Rome Statute, which means that it cannot bring a case against Israel and its leaders, Malaysia stands ready to assist in the case to prosecute the leaders of Israel for war crimes against the people of Palestine.

“In fact, the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) of Malaysia has been providing legal assistance to the team at the International Criminal Court (ICC) to bring the case against Israel and its genocidal leaders, so Malaysia from one standpoint stands ready to assist in the case to prosecute the leaders of Israel for war crimes against the people of Palestine, especially in Gaza,” he added.

To a question about whether Malaysia will be sending troops into Palestine, Fahmi, who is also the spokesman for the Unity Government in Malaysia, said the issue has been clarified by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in the Malaysian Parliament, where he mentioned that Malaysia at this point in time does not have any plans to do so, as they already have a peacekeeping battalion under the United Nations (UN), Malbattt, based in Lebanon.

Meanwhile, in a separate interview, Fahmi said Malaysia is aware that certain institutions and buildings that are being specially built for Palestinians in Gaza have become targets of Israeli attacks, and for that reason, he said the Malaysian government may need to look into more detail on this, as the cost to build them involved a huge amount of funds, raised by Malaysian non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

At the same time, he said that Malaysia, to date, through the government and also with the help of a lot of private sector and corporate entities, has raised nearly RM100 million (approximately USD 22 million) to help with humanitarian relief efforts in Palestine.

“I think while we're talking about rebuilding the immediate needs of the Palestinian people, it has to do with medical aid or food supplies. I think these are things immediately needed, given that the winter season is just around the corner and it will get very cold,” Fahmi said. -Bernama

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