Malaysia bans entry of Israeli Paralympic athletes
Malaysia maintained its stance on Israeli Paralympic athletes' ban, saying they will not be permitted to enter the country, and if they come, it will be treated as an offence.
Iran Press/ Asia: Malaysia has reiterated that it will not permit Israeli Paralympic athletes to enter the country. The athletes hope to compete in the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships in Kuching, Borneo.
The event runs from 29 July to 4 August 2019, and is one of the qualifying events for the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo.
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad told reporters on Thursday, "We will not allow them (to enter). If they come, then it is an offence."
He explained that since Malaysia as a staunch supporter of Palestinian independence, has no diplomatic relations with Israel and does not recognize it as a state, it would be against the law of Malaysia to issue visas to the Israeli squad.
The 93-year old Prime Minister’s statement is in keeping with the country’s long-held policy toward Israel.
In the past, Israeli squads have been refused entry to compete in international sailing competitions and tennis tournaments in Malaysia.
Despite mounting pressure from the International Paralympic Committee and the Israeli Olympic Committee, Malaysia is holding firm to its stance.
Last month, Malaysia's Prime Minister slammed the Australian government for its decision to recognize West Jerusalem (al-Quds) as the capital of Israel.
Mahathir Mohamad has said Australia has 'no right' to get involved in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, after Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the decision.
Mahathir Mohamad voiced his country’s support for the Palestinian state at last year’s UN General Assembly, condemning Israel for ignoring the criticism of the international community and human rights groups, as well as its ongoing occupation of Palestine. 210/ 211 /103