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AHMED SYARIL AND FERNANDO FONG
Local celebrity Afdlin Shauki (second from left) has urged all Malaysians to boycott Israeli products. — TRP pic
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KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 2:
Malaysians of all races filled Dataran Merdeka today in criticising the heinous acts of the Zionist regime and fighting to “Save the children of Gaza”.
One of those who attended the peaceful assembly here was Isaiah Jacob, 48, who said as humans, we have a duty to voice out our protest and criticism against the Zionist regime’s cruelty over killing of women, children and the elderly.
“The reason I came here is also to show my support for the special needs people in Gaza,” he said when met at the “Save the Children of Gaza” event at Dataran Merdeka today.
He said in wars, such as the one in Gaza, many of the special needs people are also killed because they are unable to save themselves due to their lack of abilities.
“Physical disabilities make it difficult for them to save themselves, hence many are killed.
“I am glad that many turned up to voice their support and protest.”
He said although he was of the Christian faith, such issues of cruelty were condemned by people of all faiths worldwide.
”We are all children of God, and as a father who is also a special needs person, I felt the call to be with Malaysians of all races and religions to condemn the Zionist cruelty,” he added.
Md Nor Azam Said, a representative of the non-governmental organisation (NGO) Aqsa Syarif, said he had been on a humanitarian relief mission to Gaza in Janaury last year.
Sharing his story, Nor Azam said the mission to Gaza was to channel financial aid of RM2.56 million given by Malaysians.
“Thankfully, the mission went well despite the Zionist regime’s blockade of Gaza.
“We managed to transport the aid using 36 lorries from Rafah to Gaza during Maal Hijrah.”
He also expressed his sadness over the loss of several Gazan friends whom he got to know during the mission.
“Many of those we got to know are now martyrs, and among them were young clerics who have been to Malaysia before,” said Nor Azam.
Viva Palestin deputy president Siti Jamilah Sheikh Abdullah said the cooperation received from the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) and Kuala Lumpur City Council (DBKL) helped in the smooth running of the peaceful assembly.
“Viva Palestin is happy with the cooperation from PDRM and DBKL who allowed us to use Dataran Merdeka to hold the assembly which saw the participation of almost 10,000 people and 10 NGOs.
“This assembly is not based on religion but more about voicing out issues of humanity.”
Also present were Palestinian students, one of whom was Raed Muhammad Qaddura, 25, who is currently studying at University Malaya.
“Since the war began, I have lost four close relatives. My grandmother and seven cousins were injured and are now in critical condition.
“My in-laws’ house was attacked and destroyed by three Israeli missiles,” said Raed, who comes from the town of Jabalia in Gaza.
His friend Ahmed Barakat, 30, who is studying at Universiti Islam Antarabangsa, added that Gaza was much smaller than Klang Valley and since the war started, life there had become grim.
“Israel has cut off the supply of electricity, water, medication and food before, but those in Gaza are still strong.
“The Israeli soldiers are killing children, women and the elderly without compassion. They are not only killing Muslims, but also Christians there.
“Recently, the Gaza Islamic University was attacked and I used to study there,” he said.
Meanwhile, local celebrity Afdlin Shauki — who represented Malaysian artistes — urged all Malaysians to boycott Israeli products.
“Start boycotting Israeli products so that we can block Israel’s economy.”
Afdlin shared his experience of his trip to Gaza for 10 days in 2012 and the sufferings of the the people there.
“Although the buildings were destroyed, the Gazans still went on with their daily lives deprived of many essential things.”
He said it was sad that young children were part of the war.
“The rest of the world may be grieving over the deaths there, but for the people of Gaza, they are thankful if they can become a martyr,” he said.
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