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Indonesia’s Jokowi Calls for Resolution of Israel-Gaza Conflict Along UN Lines

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Indonesia’s Jokowi Calls for Resolution of Israel-Gaza Conflict Along UN Lines​

The president’s call came as the Israeli Defense Force pummeled the Gaza Strip in retaliation for Hamas’ weekend attacks on southern Israel.

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Indonesian President Joko Widodo said yesterday that the Israel-Gaza conflict should be resolved according to United Nations-agreed parameters regarding “Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands.” In his first public comments since Hamas fighters attacked southern Israel from the Gaza Strip over the weekend, prompting a ruthless Israeli response, Jokowi, as he is known, urged both sides to cease fighting and exercise restraint.

“Indonesia calls for the war and violence to be stopped immediately to avoid further human casualties and destruction of property because the escalation of the conflict can cause greater humanitarian impact,” Jokowi said in a statement, according to BenarNews. “The root cause of the conflict, which is the occupation of Palestinian land by Israel, must be resolved immediately in accordance with the parameters that have been agreed upon by the U.N.”

The war, which has claimed at least 1,900 lives on both sides, according to The Associated Press, is expected to escalate in the days and weeks to come, as Israel retaliates against the incursion by Hamas militants, who killed hundreds of Israeli civilians in towns close to the border with Gaza in raids beginning on Saturday.

Jokowi reiterates the earlier comments made by the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which stated that “the root of the conflict, namely the occupation of the Palestinian territories by Israel, must be resolved, in accordance with the parameters agreed upon by the U.N.”

Despite voicing its support for the U.N.’s position on a resolution to the Israel-Palestine conflict – U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said similarly that the past week’s violence is a product of “a long-standing conflict, with a 56-year-long occupation and no political end in sight” – it is out of step with the majority of Western governments, which have condemned Hamas’ attacks on Israeli civilians and expressed their support for Israel’s right to retaliate against the brazen cross-border assault.

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The stance of Jokowi’s administration is not surprising. Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority state, has long been a staunch supporter of the Palestinian cause and does not maintain diplomatic ties with Israel (although the two nations do maintain low-profile ties in the areas of trade, security, and tourism.)

Pro-Palestinian sentiment is widespread in Indonesia, and is voiced by Islamic organizations spanning the political spectrum, who have long solicited public donations for Palestinian causes. As a result, significant developments in the far-off conflict are often mirrored on the streets in Jakarta and other large Indonesian cities. To take one recent example, in 2018, thousands of protesters flooded central Jakarta to protest U.S. President Donald Trump’s controversial decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The Indonesian government’s stance obviously reflects the fact that the Palestinian cause resonates with powerful conservative domestic constituencies in a way that other issues involving Muslims – the plight of the Uyghurs in China’s Xinjiang region leaps to mind – do not. It also to some extent flows from the country’s own tradition of anti-colonial struggle, which many connect to the Palestinian cause. As the Indonesian Ulema Council, the nation’s highest clerical body, stated in late 2020, Indonesia “must remain consistent in its identity as a nation that rejects colonizers.”

When fighting last took place between Hamas and the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in May of 2021, Indonesia’s government came together with Brunei and Malaysia to issue a joint statement condemning Israel’s air attacks on Gaza and denouncing its “inhumane, colonial, and apartheid” policy toward the Palestinian people.

As the IDF gears up for a punitive assault on the Gaza Strip, there is the possibility that the Indonesia’s stance could color its relations with Western nations, including the United States. The Israel-Palestine conflict, and the U.S. role in the Middle East more broadly, have long been one of the main sources of negative public sentiment towards the U.S. in Muslim-majority Southeast Asia, something that can be expected to intensify as the IDF moves into Gaza.

While this disjuncture is well understood in both Jakarta and Washington and is unlikely significantly to impede the bilateral relationship, the strong connection to Indonesian public sentiment, especially with a presidential election on the horizon, injects a degree of unpredictability into the relationship at a time of high tension in the Middle East. Whatever the immediate developments in Gaza, the Israel-Palestine issue will remain one of the issues on which Indonesia and its Western partners are perennially divided.

 

Live Webcams From Gaza | Conflict Zone ⚠ | Palestine Israel Gaza Strip​

 
Indonesia is the largest Islamic country but its influence is very little. Indonesia urgently needs to strengthen both militarily and economically.
 
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News Desk (The Jakarta Post) Jakarta ● Tue, October 31, 2023

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced that the Indonesian government would dispatch its first batch of humanitarian aid to Palestine. “Indonesia will send humanitarian aid adjusted to the demands and needs of the Palestinians,” said Jokowi.

“The first batch will be deployed this week.” The statement was broadcast live following a limited meeting on the Palestine-Israel conflict chaired by Jokowi at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta on Monday. Several ministers, including Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD, attended the meeting.

Jokowi further explained that this aid was a collaborative effort involving the government, private sector and Indonesian society as a whole. He also condemned the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Palestine, urging a ceasefire in the region.

“Indonesia’s stance is clear and firm: we condemn the random attacks on civilian and civilian facilities in Gaza,” the President said. Aside from humanitarian assistance to Palestine, Indonesia is engaged in diplomatic efforts by continuing communication with the parties involved in the conflict.

In a related development, the foreign minister urged the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to demand an immediate ceasefire during a UNGA emergency session on Oct. 26.

Aside from pushing for investigations into the Israeli attacks, Retno also mentioned that Indonesia would triple its voluntary contribution to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

“Indonesia is ready and will play its role,” Retno said. “Indonesia will continue to stand with the people of Palestine.” Retno ended her statement by underlining the importance of addressing the root causes of the Israel-Palestine conflict, highlighting the continuation of work toward the two-state solution.


 

Indonesians join peaceful rally in solidarity with Palestine​


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People taking part in a rally supporting Palestinians in Gaza, at the National Monument complex in Jakarta on Nov 5. PHOTO: REUTERS

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JAKARTA - Thousands of people were at the National Monument on Sunday to express solidarity with the Palestinians amid an ongoing conflict in Gaza, the largest public gathering in Indonesia since the Israel-Hamas war broke out.

Dressed in white robes and black-and-white Palestinian scarves, they waved Palestine flags and chanted “God is Great!” and “Free Palestine” as they demanded Israeli forces end their deadly siege of Gaza.

As footage of bombings in Gaza flashed across the screen, Muslim figures took turns to deliver speeches on a stage at the National Monument (Monas) square, calling for, among others, a boycott of Israeli goods and an investigation of Israel hostilities in Gaza at the international court.

“Israeli oppressors, fight, fight, fight!” and “Indonesia defends Palestine!” the demonstrators shouted.

The peaceful rally was organised by the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), the country’s highest Islamic authority. It was supported by the government, as well as Muslim organisations and those of other faiths including Buddhism and Christianity.


Several ministers and politicians including Minister of Religious Affairs Yaqut Cholil Qoumas, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, former Jakarta governor and presidential candidate Anies Baswedan and House of Representatives chair Puan Maharani were present.



Despite the heavy downpour on Saturday night, many protesters arrived from various cities in Java via buses and motorcycles. Some spent the night at the Istiqlal mosque, the largest mosque in South-east Asia, and performed their morning prayers before making their way to Monas at 7am (Singapore time).

Others like Ms Evi Murniyati, 55, and her three friends from Bogor city, outside Jakarta, left their homes when dawn broke. Ms Evi told The Straits Times she wished she could fly to Palestine to cook and care for the orphaned children. She added: “As a mother and woman, my heart shattered into a million pieces when I saw the children who lost their homes, parents, and even their lives. Why them? They are innocent.”


Ms Sumayah, who goes by one name, a 26-year-old content creator, had made banners and persuaded her parents to join her at the event.

“I want to come in person, and not just post on social media, to show I stand with the Palestinians. I have so many emotions right now - sad and angry at the senseless cruelty,” she told ST.

Visibly distraught, she also said: “I couldn’t imagine how life would be if I were a Gaza resident there, every hour, minute, and second, thinking when I will die.”

Sunday’s rally was the latest in a series of recent peaceful protests, including at the United States embassy and United Nations mission only a short walk away from Monas.

Indonesia does not have formal diplomatic relations with Israel, and there is no Israeli embassy in the country. A strong supporter of the Palestinians, such rallies are not uncommon in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country of 280 million people.

In March 2023, members of some Muslim groups took to the streets in Jakarta to protest against the Israeli soccer team’s participation in the FIFA U-20 World Cup. The world football governing body stripped Indonesia’s hosting rights following the surge of resistance. In Dec 2017, tens of thousands of demonstrators protested against the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

An Oct 7 incursion by Hamas fighters into Israel, which killed about 1,400 people in Israel, has provoked a retaliation on the militant group. Since then, thousands of Palestinians have reportedly been killed in heavy airstrikes on the Gaza Strip. The situation in Gaza remains desperate, with food, fuel and medicine for the 2.3 million residents all running short, according to reports citing aid groups.

President Joko Widodo has repeatedly condemned the hostilities and called for a ceasefire. He also said Indonesia will continue to communicate with various parties to resolve the issue and send humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people.

In an Oct 30 broadcast, he said: “Indonesia is enraged about the worsening situation in Gaza, especially the humanitarian situation. We continue to closely follow developments in Gaza and Indonesia’s position is very clear and firm, strongly condemning random attacks on civilians and civilian facilities in Gaza.”

“Violence must stop, a ceasefire must continue to be sought. Humanitarian assistance must continue to be encouraged and accelerated,” he added.


On Oct 31, Indonesia’s anti-terror police warned the public against taking part in pro-Palestinian protests and fund-raising activities being staged by several terror groups due to perceived oppression. Security analysts have said the bombardment of Gaza could drive recruitment for Muslim militant groups, but the chances appear small for now.

MUI’s head of Islamic preaching Muhammad Cholil Nafis said in a Nov 2 statement published on the organisation’s website that Sunday’s rally was “positive militancy and fanaticism”.

“It’s to convey our words to the world that the Indonesian people condemn and are angry with Israel’s actions towards Palestine”, he said, adding: “There’s no need to think from the perspective of any faith or religious teaching, our sense of humanity is stirred just from watching innocent people being bombed and killed.”

Meanwhile, MUI’s chairman for foreign relations and international cooperation Sudarnoto Abdul Hakim condemned Israel’s action in Gaza as “the worst genocide and war crime that has aroused global empathy, including Indonesia”.

Protesters told The Straits Times that humanity has no religion and their anger was directed at Israel forces, and not people of other faiths. They also called for Western countries such as the United States to end its support of the Israeli military.

Teachers Endro Sasongko and his wife, Maelani Kusuma, both 55, said this was the second pro-Palestinian rally they had attended in recent years.

Ms Maelani said: “It’s not about religion, it’s about humanity. We can only offer support, prayers, and humanitarian aid now as we are far away. We don’t need to be radical and fight in a war.”
Another protester, Nunung Normawati, 61, said: “You don’t have to be a Muslim to support Palestine, but just be a human, a human with a heart.”

 
Indonesia Foreign Minister speech during the event, Puan Maharani, Parliament Speaker is also present, along with several Indonesian Ministers


Indonesian leaders speech


Puan Maharani, Parliament Chairman


 
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There are many demonstrations before the one held in Monas that I believe is joined by more than 500.000 people.

This is in Al Azhar Jakarta alone around 10.000


 
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Went to Egypt to send Aid to Gazan. These special force may be entering Gaza to get some Indonesians who are trap there or send directly essential goods or fuels to Indonesian Hospital in Gaza.

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Palestine-Israel Conflict: Indonesia to Send Hospital Ship to Treat Refugees in Gaza​

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5 November 2023 11:14 WIB

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian government is ready to send its naval hospital ship to the waters near Gaza, Palestine, to provide medical treatments to the victims of Israeli assaults, stated Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto.

Subianto revealed that the Indonesian government is planning to coordinate with countries in the vicinity of the Palestinian Gaza Strip, including Egypt, to obtain approval for sending the hospital ship.

"We will coordinate with Egyptian authorities. TNI (Indonesian Defense Forces) is ready to send a hospital ship that will be on standby there to provide more assistance," he remarked when met at the Halim Perdanakusuma Air Base, Jakarta, on Saturday, November 4, 2023.

 

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