Malaysia’s government has long been at odds with Israel. Support for the Palestinian cause runs deep in Malaysian society. 12 Malaysian members were on board the Mavi Marmara. After Operation "Pillar of Defense" in Gaza, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mohamad Najib Abdul Razak, arrived in Gaza and met with Hamas Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh, and members of the Izadin Al Qassam Brigades.
Hamas suspects revealed to interrogators that members of a Hamas cell trained in Malaysia intended to carry out a cross-border attack using a powered parachute. In addition, Malayasia was one of the main supporters of Hamas in the recent conflict with Israel (Operation “Protective Edge”).