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Indonesia denounces Israeli strikes on hospital

JAKARTA (ANN/THE STRAITS TIMES) – Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi has vehemently condemned the apartheid regime tank attacks that targeted the Indonesian Hospital in Gaza on November 20, resulting in the tragic loss of 12 civilian lives.

Speaking from Beijing, Ms Retno asserted that the assault constitutes a blatant violation of international humanitarian law. Urging countries, particularly those with close ties to the apartheid state, to leverage their influence, she called for an immediate end to what she termed as the apartheid state’s atrocities.

Additionally, Ms Retno expressed deep concern as the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs lost contact with three Indonesian volunteers who were serving at the Indonesian hospital following the devastating attack.

The ministry is actively collaborating with pertinent stakeholders, including the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and the World Health Organisation, to closely monitor the situation within the health facility.

The primary objective is to guarantee the safety and well-being of the dedicated volunteers involved.

Ms Retno and other Muslim and Arab foreign ministers have made China their first stop on a tour to permanent members of the UN Security Council, pushing for an end to the war in Gaza.

Eleven patients and a relative of a patient were killed in the attack on the Indonesian Hospital, Palestinian Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qudra said.

Around 700 people, including medical workers and injured people, were inside the hospital, he told a Qatar-funded news channel, adding that the situation was “catastrophic”.

The hospital staff insisted on staying to take care of the injured, he said.

A Palestinian news agency reported that the apartheid state’s soldiers shot at everything that moved near the hospital’s entrance.

The apartheid state has alleged that the Indonesian Hospital is used to disguise Hamas’ underground command and control centre.

This has been denied by Palestinian officials, the Indonesian Foreign Ministry, and the Indonesian humanitarian organisation, Medical Emergency Rescue Committee (MER-C), which funds the hospital.

Located in Jabalia in northern Gaza, the Indonesian Hospital was built in 2011 using donations raised by MER-C from the public, including from organisations like the Indonesian Red Cross and major Muslim group Muhammadiyah. With 100 beds and four operating theatres, the hospital began operations in 2016.

The hospital and more than 20 others have been largely affected by an Israeli blockade on fuel, electricity and water entering Gaza, and minimum aid deliveries.

On November 16, the Indonesian Hospital stopped its service as it was understaffed and ran out of fuel and supplies amid an influx of patients.

That same day, soldiers of the apartheid state entered Al-Shifa Hospital, the biggest health facility in Gaza, in a ground operation. The apartheid state military claimed that Hamas’ headquarters was situated in tunnels beneath the hospital, which the militant group denied.

Ms Retno, along with her counterparts from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and Palestine, and officials from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, met Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing on November 20.

They called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and the entry of humanitarian aid into the war-torn territory.

China is assuming the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council for November.

Apart from China, the delegation of Arab and Muslim ministers is also set to ask Russia to support the end of Israel hostilities.

More than 13,000 people in Gaza, mostly civilians, have been killed in the apartheid state’s strikes since October 7.

File photo of Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi. ANN/THE JAKARTA POST
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