Indonesian Foreign Minister: OIC Must Act Swiftly for Palestine

PROGRES.IDIndonesian Foreign Minister, Retno Marsudi, has reminded the member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) of the original purpose of the organization, which is to “free the Palestinian people.”

She emphasized that it is time for the OIC to take action and work together to address the worsening conflict situation in the Gaza region.

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“Now is the time for the OIC to act, and we must act together,” said the Indonesian Foreign Minister, as reported by Voa Indonesia.

Retno Marsudi conveyed her views through a video message sent to the media after her arrival in Jeddah on Wednesday (10/18) to attend an extraordinary meeting of OIC foreign ministers.

This meeting was convened to discuss the latest developments in the conflict between Israel and Palestine, which has escalated following a major explosion at a hospital in Gaza.

In her message, Foreign Minister Retno strongly condemned the attacks on civilians in Gaza, which she described as unprecedented. She also highlighted Israel’s demand to evacuate 22 hospitals in Gaza as an inhumane act and a violation of international humanitarian law.

Indonesia urged the OIC to send a strong message and gather international support to address the crisis situation in Gaza.

Indonesia emphasized three key points in this OIC forum: an immediate cessation of violence, ensuring the smooth and safe delivery of humanitarian aid, and addressing the root causes of the conflict.

Retno Marsudi also criticized the United Nations Security Council, which she deemed incapable of fulfilling its function, and urged the OIC to convene an emergency session of the UN General Assembly.

She emphasized that humanitarian aid efforts must be coordinated with the establishment of humanitarian corridors in Gaza that comply with international humanitarian law. Furthermore, Retno stressed the urgency of continuing the peace process as the only way out of this conflict.

“Any efforts that lead to the expulsion of the Gaza population must be rejected,” she stated.

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Faisal bin Faisal bin Farhan, also emphasized the importance of establishing humanitarian corridors to assist in the delivery of aid and medical assistance to Gaza.

“We stress the need for a serious and collective effort to alleviate the humanitarian situation and stop the suffering in Gaza by requesting the evacuation of the injured and creating humanitarian corridors to facilitate the delivery of aid and medical assistance,” he said.

U.S. President Joe Biden, who recently met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, announced that Israel has agreed to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza for civilians. However, this aid will be inspected before it is delivered.

“Gaza’s people need food, water, medicine, and shelter. Today, I’ve asked the Israeli cabinet, which I met with this morning, to approve the delivery of life-saving humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza, based on the understanding that there will be inspections, and that the aid must be given to civilians, not to Hamas. Israel has agreed that humanitarian aid can begin moving from Egypt to Gaza,” he said.

Biden stressed that aid must be given to civilians, not to Hamas. He also threatened to halt aid if Hamas steals or diverts the assistance.

“If Hamas diverts or steals that aid, it will once again show that they have no concern for the well-being of the Palestinian people. And the entry of humanitarian aid will be immediately halted. I will stop the international community from providing this aid,” he added.

The Biden-Netanyahu meeting aimed to reaffirm strong U.S. support for Israel after Hamas’s attack in early October. The casualty count in this conflict continues to rise, with a significant number being women and children.

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