Published: Tuesday January 22, 2013 MYT 10:48:00 AM
Updated: Tuesday January 22, 2013 MYT 3:47:23 PM
Najib to arrive in Gaza on humanitarian visit
By RAZAK AHMAD
EL ARISH (Gaza): Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is expected to arrive in Gaza later Tuesday on a humanitarian visit that will reaffirm Malaysia's commitment to the Palestinian cause.
Creating history as the first Malaysian Prime Minister to visit the occupied territories, the trip is part of Najib's three-day working trip to Cairo, Egypt, as well as Gaza in neighbouring Palestine.
They will travel by air on Tuesday morning to the El Arish airport located 50km from the Palestinian border town of Rafah before crossing into Gaza by land.
Najib will be met on arrival by Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh at 10am local time (4pm Tuesday Malaysian time).
He will visit a school project initiated by Malaysia before laying the foundation stone to rebuild Ismail Haniyeh's office which was damaged by an Israeli attack in November last year.
Najib will also meet Hamas Cabinet members and members of the Palestinian parliament at the site of Ismail's new office.
He will visit Al Aqsa University where he is scheduled to make a speech on Malaysia's stand regarding Palestine before receiving an honorary doctorate.
Among those in the Prime Minister's delegation are Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman and Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom.
Representatives from several Malaysian non-Governmental groups are also expected to be in Gaza during the visit.
They include the president of the Malaysian chapter of the Al-Quds Foundation Nasharudin Mat Isa.
Najib and Rosmah will depart back to Cairo later today (Tuesday) and make a courtesy call on Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.
Representatives from both countries will then sign a comprehensive economic cooperation agreement to deepen bilateral ties.
Najib will depart Cairo on Wednesday for Davos, Switzerland, to attend the World Economic Forum meeting.