KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 13 — Hundreds of Muslims gathered after Friday prayers at the National Mosque today to protest and denounce Israel’s oppression of Gazans in the war sparked by an attack by Islamist militants Hamas.

The protesters included a man in the costume of Farfour — Hamas’ version of Mickey Mouse — waving a Palestinian flag, and others with the keffiyeh scarves and placards saying "Israel cuak" (Malay for "Israel is frightened").

Two effigies draped in the Israeli flag were also set ablaze amidst chants of "Hidup Palestin" (long live Palestine) and "Hancur Zionist" (crush the Zionists) as political leaders address those present in the background.

Two effigies draped in the Israeli flag are set ablaze amidst chants of ‘Hidup Palestin’ (long live Palestine) and ‘Hancur Zionist’ (crush the Zionists), outside Masjid Negara in Kuala Lumpur October 13, 2023.
Two effigies draped in the Israeli flag are set ablaze amidst chants of ‘Hidup Palestin’ (long live Palestine) and ‘Hancur Zionist’ (crush the Zionists), outside Masjid Negara in Kuala Lumpur October 13, 2023.

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Today's protest comes at the back of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's reiteration that Malaysia remains in solidarity with the struggles of the Palestinians, saying the international community has continued to take one-sided actions regarding all forms of cruelty and oppression against the Palestinians.

In a show of support transcending political differences, PAS' volunteer corps Unit Amal — a unit under PAS’ Youth wing and functions as a uniformed welfare voluntary organisation — was also present.

Perikatan Nasional chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said it was every Malaysians obligation and responsibility to voice their support towards Palestine and it's people.

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Muhyiddin also claimed Israel's latest siege on Gaza is a prelude to genocidal acts against the Palestinians.

“For decades they have suffered.

“Today's gathering is a testament to our unwavering stance, regardless of political affiliations or whether you are Muslim or non-Muslim, we must make our stance known against the atrocities of the Zionist regime imposed upon the Palestinians,” he said.

Also present were former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Parti Amanah Negara president Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu, PAS deputy president Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, DAP’s Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii and Umno Youth chief Muhamad Akmal Saleh.

People hold signs as they gather to protest against Israel, during the 'Free Palestine' rally at Masjid Negara in Kuala Lumpur October 13,2023.
People hold signs as they gather to protest against Israel, during the 'Free Palestine' rally at Masjid Negara in Kuala Lumpur October 13,2023.

On Sunday, Israel declared war on the Palestinian militant group Hamas after the latter launched a surprise assault from Gaza, amid a death toll which has surged above 2,600 with thousands more wounded.

The tiny coastal enclave home to 2.4 million people, already blockaded since 2007, is under siege by Israel which has cut off water, food and power supplies.

Gaza officials reported at least 1,300 of deaths in the impoverished and blockaded enclave of 2.3 million people, which was hammered by Israeli air strikes on 800 targets ahead of what many feared may be a looming ground invasion.

People wave flags as they gather during the 'Free Palestine' rally at Masjid Negara in Kuala Lumpur October 13,2023.
People wave flags as they gather during the 'Free Palestine' rally at Masjid Negara in Kuala Lumpur October 13,2023.

The United Nations said Israeli air attacks and shelling targeting houses and apartment buildings have displaced some 340,000 Palestinians in Gaza.

More than 1,300 Israelis have been killed since Hamas launched its large-scale attack — the country’s worst losses since the 1973 Arab-Israeli war.

The war has torn up diplomacy in the region, just as Israel was preparing to reach an agreement to normalise ties with Saudi Arabia, the richest Arab power, and months after Riyadh resumed ties with its regional rival Iran, sponsor of Hamas.