Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said “Israel has turned Gaza into hell.” He referred to the continuing increase in the number of deaths and injuries due to the continuation of Israeli attacks after the end of the ceasefire last week.
Retno conveyed this while attending a special meeting of the Executive Council of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland, Sunday (10/12), which specifically discussed the situation in Gaza.
The WHO Executive Council is an executive organ under the World Health Assembly which has 34 members. Indonesia was last a member of this council in the 2018-2021 period. However, this meeting was not only attended by members of the council, but also non-member countries who were concerned about the situation in Gaza.
A special meeting of the Executive Council of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland, Sunday (10/12), which specifically discussed the situation in Gaza. (Photo: Courtesy/Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
“It is important for Indonesia to be present so that it can directly contribute, emphasizing the importance of improving health facilities, protecting health facilities and workers. “This includes, of course, the Indonesian Hospital health facilities,” said Retno.
Indonesian Hospital was forced to stop operating on November 16.
Health Facilities Continue to Worsen
In a virtual press statement, Retno openly said that Israel had committed serious violations of international law and human rights, because it ordered “that medical supplies be moved from Khan Younis to a smaller warehouse in Rafah.”
Retno explained the current poor situation of health facilities in Gaza. “Of the 36 hospitals, only 13 are still operating, and all of them are 2-3 times overcapacity. “Seventy-one percent of health care facilities are no longer functioning,” he said.
“Medical equipment, medicines, food, clean water, fuel and electricity are increasingly limited. Hundreds of medical workers have been killed since Israel attacked Gaza. WHO reports that the spread of infectious diseases is increasing. There were nearly 130 thousand cases of acute respiratory infections. More than 94 thousand cases of diarrhea. “More than 2,700 cases of chickenpox,” said Retno.
Foreign Minister Retno openly said that Israel had committed serious violations of international law and human rights. (Photo: Courtesy/Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Indonesia Ready to Send Hospital Ship to Gaza
For this reason, in the meeting, Reno conveyed three things that were planned to be done now in Gaza, namely accelerating health assistance, protecting all workers and medical facilities, and increasing the mobility of support for WHO.
“Indonesia urges Israel to respect the right to health and access of the Gaza community to health facilities. Indonesia has sent four sorties of humanitarian aid. “Indonesia will also send a hospital ship to Gaza to help injured and sick people,” said Retno.
This is the first statement confirming Indonesia’s readiness to send a hospital ship to Gaza. VOA monitoring shows that the hospital ship in question is still on standby in Jakarta, waiting for permission from the Egyptian government to sail and enter Egyptian waters.
At the end of her statement, Retno expressed Indonesia’s disappointment with the UN Security Council “which again failed to pass a resolution regarding a humanitarian ceasefire that could reduce the suffering of the people of Gaza.”
As a country that has become a co-sponsor of the resolution regarding “Health Conditions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” Retno encouraged all countries and world bodies not to slow down. “Efforts must continue to be made to improve the situation in Gaza. We must not give up. Never give up.” (em/ah)