Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad says the occupation of Palestinian territories as part of attempts to form an illegal entity, called Israel, has been the main cause of terrorism in the world.
In remarks quoted by Turkey’s state-owned Anadolu news agency on Saturday, Mahathir stressing that if the causes of terrorism were not dealt with, then it would be difficult to put a stop to them.
“The main thing that we think we should always stress is the causes of terrorism. Today, there is already a consensus almost to blame terrorism on Muslims,” said the Malaysian premier who was in Turkey on an official visit.
“But the fact you said, after the seizure of Palestine, and the disregard of international law by Israel, this has led to so-called acts of terrorism. But in order to get rid of terrorism, we need to know the reason why they terrorize unless you treat the causes of terrorism, you are not going to be able to stop terrorism,” he said.
Mahathir called on the Tel Aviv regime to allow Palestinians to return back and reclaim their property, or at least agree on stopping the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements.
“And if we know, beside this, the causes for terrorism, and we treat them, we take action to stop this injustice perpetrated on the Palestinians, I think there will be less terrorism or no terrorism all over the world,” he said.
Mahathir has previously dubbed Israel as “a state of robbers”, saying his country enjoys friendly relations with every country in the world except Israel.
About 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.
Some 7,000 Palestinians are currently behind bars in 17 Israeli prisons and detention centers, according to reports.
Jerusalem al-Quds remains at the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with Palestinians hoping that the eastern part of the city would eventually serve as the capital of a future independent Palestinian state.