Indonesia condemns use of force against Palestinians, solicits international leaders’ support

by MCR Correspondent

Indonesia has condemned the use of force against the Palestinians, soliciting international leaders’ support to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Indonesian President, Joko Widodo, in a statement on Sunday May 16, 2021, strongly condemned Israel’s attacks, which have resulted in the loss of hundreds of lives, including women and children.

“Israel’s aggression must be put to a stop,” the President said.

Widodo has been urging the United Nations Security Council to take measures against what he described as repeated violations carried out by Israel, saying on Monday that Indonesia would continue to stand with the people of Palestine.

Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi attended an emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Sunday evening, in which she tried to push the OIC to have a stronger stance on ending the violence.

“We are focusing on gaining international support so we can put huge pressure on Israel to stop the violence,” Abdul Kadir Jailani, director general for Asia Pacific and Africa, who accompanied Retno at the OIC meeting, said.

The tensions between Israel and Palestine drew international outcry after the severe escalation of violence in Gaza and East Jerusalem.

Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip killed eight children and demolished a building housing media offices, sparking international outcry.

Before the OIC meeting, Retno reached out to several counterparts, such as the foreign ministers of Egypt, Malaysia and Brunei, regarding this issue.

At the OIC meetings, Indonesia proposed three key points to resolve the conflict, including the need to unite support for Palestinian independence.

Retno also suggested that each country use its influence to encourage a ceasefire and that the OIC has to work harder to restart credible multilateral negotiations.

“Together we have to act now. The Palestinian people deserve justice. And I emphasize that Indonesia will continue to support the Palestinian struggle,” she told a press conference on the sidelines of the OIC meeting.

If the UNSC fails to take action, the UN General Assembly must hold an emergency meeting, Retno said, adding that the OIC would urge it to implement international protection to protect Palestinians and the Al Aqsa Mosque area.

“The OIC calls on the international community to stop the ongoing Israeli settlement colonization of occupied Palestinian land, and reaffirms its position in supporting Palestinian independence,” Retno told the press.

Later on Sunday, in a statement issued after the emergency meeting, the OIC condemned “in the strongest terms Israel’s brutal aggression” against the Palestinian people. The statement, carried by Saudi state media, called for an immediate halt to the attacks on civilians, saying they were “a violation of international law and the UN resolutions”, Reuters reported.

Sunday’s UNSC meeting is set to take place after Israel ally Washington, which has been criticized for not doing enough to stem the bloodshed, blocked another meeting scheduled for Friday.

Several days earlier, Retno also sent out messages to foreign ministers from Vietnam, India and Norway, all of which are UN security council nonpermanent members.

“We have been communicating with India, with Norway, and some members of the UNSC. We have conveyed our hopes to the members of the Security Council who have similar concerns,” Kadir said.

“We expect the Security Council to take firm action regarding Israeli aggression even though we know this will not be easy.”

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