Grim task: Palestinian rescuers carrying a body removed from under the rubble of a building destroyed following an Israeli military strike in Rafah, in the south Gaza Strip. Medics said seven were killed in the pre-dawn assault yesterday. — AFP
GAZA: Members of the Malaysian humanitarian mission to Palestine had a close shave when an Israeli rocket landed near them while they were in Rafah.
Kelab Putera 1Malaysia (KP1M) president Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim, Malaysian Ambassador to Egypt and Palestine Datuk Ku Jaafar Ku Shaari and Palestinian Ambassador to Malaysia Dr Anwar Al-Agha were greatly relieved to find that the rocket did not explode.
Ku Jaafar said their last hour in Gaza was tense as it felt as though they were being bombarded with aerial attacks.
“We decided to fast when we entered Gaza on Monday, and left everything to God,” Ku Jaafar told the media at the Malaysian Embassy in Egypt after returning from Gaza on Wednesday.
Abdul Azeez and the two diplomats were the only ones among the 85 members of the Malaysian aid mission to Gaza to be allowed by the Egyptian army to cross the border following security concerns in the northern Sinai region.
The group comprised KP1M, Mercy Malaysia and the Malaysian Consultative Council of Islamic Organisation.
Despite the setback, Abdul Azeez said the mission was a success, as they had delivered their message to the Palestinians, affirming that Malaysia would stand by them under any circumstance.
“Life is our boundary. Alhamdulillah, we have accomplished our task to deliver 40 tonnes of food and medical supply in aid of Gaza folk.
“Our mission does not stop here. We plan to bring back 100 Palestinians to seek further treatment,” he said.
Dr Anwar, who hails from Khan Younis here, expressed gratitude to Malaysia for standing by the Palestinians even during wartime.
“To Malaysians and the Malaysian Government, as well as the NGOs, thank you. You are our brothers,” he said.