Malaysia seeks special UN session on Gaza conflict

Muslim countries will seek a UN General Assembly special session to press for a halt to the escalating violence in Gaza, Malaysia's leader said Monday. Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Malaysia's permanent representative to the UN would hold discussions with other officials in the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference on how to convene the session. "I hope the United States and its allies will not impede efforts to convene the special general assembly," Abdullah was quoted as saying by the national news agency, Bernama. In a separate statement, Abdullah said Israel's ground offensive "is an act of total war which the international community should not tolerate." \ Abdullah added that he had authorized $1 million of immediate humanitarian aid from the Malaysian government to be channeled through relief supplies for the Palestinians.