KUALA LUMPUR, May 20 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has once again urged the United States (US) to do whatever is necessary to halt Israeli hostilities in Gaza.

In an interview with Al Jazeera yesterday, Anwar emphasised that the super power has the power to do so.

“The US should do whatever is necessary to stop the hostilities... they have the influence, mechanism and the diplomatic skills, all combined to be able to force Israel to stop (the atrocities),” he said on ‘Talk To Al Jazeera’.

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Anwar said the US and most countries in the West seem to be quite hypocritical between their lectures on human rights and democracy by tolerating the obvious atrocities against the innocent population in Gaza continuing in front their eyes.

Asked by presenter Sami Zeidan whether he agrees that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza, Anwar said that given the number of casualties and the extent of the devastation, with no opportunity for children, women, and the elderly to survive, no other terms can be applicable.

“No one in the right mind could deny the fact that it’s either ethnic cleansing or gross apartheid or genocide. Clearly, it has come to that,” he said.

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Anwar admitted that he was disappointed with the US’ response to Malaysia’s appeal, saying that he can’t bear to see the daily atrocities inflicted upon women and children.

“I did appeal to the United States, particularly in front of the President Joe Biden, who listened very attentively to my expression and passionate call. There was no response. But I was addressing as a friend,” he said.

Asked whether the US is pressuring Malaysia to try and change its stance on the Gaza conflict, Anwar said not probably obliquely, as Malaysia maintains good relations with the country and will continue to do so.

He said Malaysia has always taken a strong position on the Palestinian cause, consistent with its foreign policy stance of defending human rights and the legitimate aspirations of all nations.

On his meeting with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in Qatar recently, Anwar said it was purely diplomatic and political as well as to persuade them to understand the concerns of others.

He explained that it was something that Qatar has done when attempting to secure the release of hostages through contact and engagement with Hamas.

“I made the reference to the Emir of Qatar, who would take that position which benefits the international community. If someone has to engage with Hamas, whether you like it or not, they do represent some portion of the Palestinian people in Gaza and you cannot deny that,” said Anwar. — Bernama