Malaysia 'ready' to send military to Jerusalem if needed to help Palestinians

  • Word of the Southeast Asian nation's apparent willingness is ready to send troops to Jerusalem came from the country's defense minister.
  • The comments come amid violent protests in Jerusalem after President Donald Trump recognized the city as Israel's capital.
  • On Sunday, a Palestinian stabbed an Israeli security guard in Jerusalem, Reuters reported.

Malaysia is ready to send troops to Jerusalem, the defense minister said, calling President Donald Trump's decision to recognize the city as Israel's capital "a slap in the face for the entire Muslim world."

"We are ready for any orders from the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces ... should our services be needed," Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said in a speech on Saturday, according to The Malay Mail Online.

Muslim-majority Malaysia has long supported Palestinian's quest for statehood.

"We were shocked earlier this week with the worrisome news that would affect global geopolitical stability," Hussein was quoted as saying.

He said Trump's decision was "a slap in the face for the entire Muslim world," according to Al-Jazeera.

The defense ministry did not immediately respond to CNBC's requests for comment.

Until the 1967 war, Jerusalem was divided between Israel and Jordan. The western part housed the seat of Israel's government. During the war, Israel captured the eastern part, which house sites sacred to Jews, Muslims and Christians. Palestinians consider the eastern sector the rightful capital of any future Palestinian state.

In siding with Israel on the matter, Trump has angered several of America's allies in the Middle East and beyond, triggering violent protests in Palestinian territories and Beirut. On Sunday, a Palestinian stabbed an Israeli security guard at a Jerusalem bus station, Reuters reported.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has said that while he rejected Trump's decision, bilateral ties would not be affected, local newspaper The Star said Sunday. Trump's action could also complicate progress on a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians, Najib warned.

Malaysia and Israel are more than 4,700 miles (7,588 km) apart.

Read Hussein's full comments in The Malay Mail Online's story.