Malaysian PM urges Hamas to seek ‘peaceful resolution’ in Gaza conflict

The Malaysian PM met with Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh and Khaled Meshaal in Qatar last week, a move that has drawn criticism from some quarters.

Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has defended his recent meeting with leaders of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), stating that the objective was to persuade them to pursue a peaceful solution to the ongoing war in Gaza.

The Malaysian PM met with Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh and Khaled Meshaal in Qatar last week, a move that has drawn criticism from some quarters.

Anwar emphasized the importance of resolving the longstanding conflict by stating that they could go on discussing what had happened on October 7, but not erase seven decades from the period of Nakba in 1948. The Nakba, or “catastrophe,” refers to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

While encouraging a “peaceful resolution,” Anwar also stressed the urgency of addressing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, which has been under an Israeli siege for years.

The Malaysian leader’s meeting with Hamas officials and his call for a peaceful solution comes amid escalating violence in Gaza, where Israeli forces have intensified their military operations, leading to a deteriorating humanitarian situation and hampering the delivery of aid.

Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, is designated as a terrorist organization by several countries, including the United States and the European Union. However, Anwar defended his engagement with the group, stating that he had known them for decades, and there was no reason not to meet them.

As the conflict in Gaza continues to unfold, the international community remains divided on the best approach to resolving the longstanding Israeli-Palestinian dispute. Anwar’s initiative to engage with Hamas leaders and advocate for a peaceful resolution reflects Malaysia’s stance on the issue and its desire to contribute to efforts toward finding a lasting solution.