October 9, 2023
JAKARTA – Indonesia has called for an end to a wave of violence in the Middle East that has killed hundreds of people on both the Israeli and Palestinian sides following a surprise large-scale attack by Palestinian militants – the deadliest attack on Israel in 50 years.
“Indonesia is deeply concerned about the escalation of conflict between Palestine and Israel. Indonesia urges the immediate end of violence to avoid further human casualties,” the Indonesian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Sunday. “The root of the conflict is Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory that must be resolved in accordance with the parameters agreed upon by the United Nations.”
At least 13 Indonesian citizens are residing in the Gaza Strip and none were hurt in the recent attack, the ministry noted.
The government said it was monitoring the condition of Indonesian nationals in Gaza through its embassies in Amman and Cairo and called on Indonesians residing in Palestine to be vigilant and avoid conflict areas.
The Indonesian Medical Emergency Rescue Committee (MER-C), an NGO, reported that the Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip killed one of its workers and hit an Indonesian hospital.
“The rockets fired from the Israeli fighter jets fell so close to our location and destroyed MER-C operational car in front of the Dr. Joserizal Jurnalis building,” an MER-C staff member in Gaza said.
Abu Romzi, a local staff member of MER-C, was killed in the incident.
“We condemn the Israeli attack on Gaza that targeted hospitals,” MER-C president Sarbini Abdul Murad said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Sunday of a “long and difficult” war after the latest military operation by Hamas, AFP reported.
The conflict’s bloodiest escalation in decades saw Hamas carry out a massive rocket barrage and ground, air and sea offensive on Saturday that Israel’s army said had killed more than 200 Israelis and wounded 1,000, while soldiers and civilians were taken hostage. Gaza officials, meanwhile, said intense Israeli air strikes on the coastal enclave had brought the Palestinian death toll to at least 256, with nearly 1,788 wounded.
As fighting raged on Sunday, Lebanon’s powerful Iran-backed Hezbollah movement said it had fired “large numbers of artillery shells and guided missiles” at Israeli positions in a contested border areas “in solidarity” with Hamas. Israel’s army had earlier said it fired artillery on southern Lebanon in response to a shot from the area without identifying the attackers.
Indonesia has long been a major supporter of the Palestinian cause, a cornerstone of its foreign policy that goes back to the early days of its independence.
Jakarta reaffirmed its support for Palestine when its prime minister, Mohammad Shtayyeh, met with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo in Jakarta last year.
“Here I am emphasizing the importance of unity within the Palestinian state. […] Indonesia will continue to push forward the reconciliation process between all Palestinian factions. I have conveyed Indonesia’s support for Palestine’s full membership at the United Nations,” Jokowi said.