Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Indonesia condemns Israeli military attack on Rafah, Palestine 

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Gusty da Costa

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Indonesia strongly condemns the Israeli military attack on the Palestinian city of Rafah and its control of the Palestinian side of the Rafah
border crossing.

The Indonesian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on its X (previously Twitter) account that any attempt to forced transfer or displacement of Palestinians, including from Rafah, are unacceptable as it amounts to an ultimate crime against humanity.

“Indonesia reiterated its call for immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza and removing all impediments in the delivery of humanitarian assistance,” Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Lalu Muhamad Iqbal, said on Tuesday, May 7, 2024.

The international community, particularly the United Nations Security Council, must stop Israel’s brutal atrocities immediately and prevent any further humanitarian catastrophe, he added.

The Israeli military said as reported by BBC that its troops have taken “operational control” of the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt.

Rafah has been a key entry point for aid and the only exit for people able to flee since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas in October 2024. A tank brigade moved into the crossing area after a night of intense strikes.

With Israel’s Kerem Shalom crossing also closed, the UN warned Gaza’s two main aid arteries were now choked off.

On Tuesday, the White House said it had been told Kerem Shalom would reopen on Wednesday.

On Monday, the Israeli military ordered tens of thousands of civilians to begin evacuating nearby eastern parts of Rafah city, ahead of what it called a “limited” operation to eliminate Hamas fighters and dismantle infrastructure.

Hamas said Israel’s incursion and seizure of the Rafah crossing was aimed at undermining attempts by regional mediators to secure a new ceasefire deal.

The Palestinian armed group said on Monday that it had accepted a proposal from Egypt and Qatar, the basis of which is a weeks-long pause in the fighting and the release of several dozen hostages still held in Gaza.

‘Sustainable calm’ proposal splits Israel and Hamas

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday that Hamas’s announcement was “very far from Israel’s necessary requirements” and that it was a failed attempt to “disrupt the entry of our forces into Rafah”.

He said he had instructed the mid-level Israeli delegation sent to Cairo on Tuesday to “stand firm” on the conditions required for the return of the hostages and on “vital requirements for ensuring Israel’s security”.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told troops on the Gaza border: “We will not cease operating in Rafah until Hamas is destroyed, or until the first hostage returns home.”

UN Secretary General António Guterres said a deal between Israel and Hamas was “essential to stop the unbearable suffering of Palestinians in Gaza and of the hostages and their families”.

“I reiterate my appeal for both parties to show the political courage and spare no effort to secure an agreement now,” Guterres said.

Israel launched a military campaign in Gaza to destroy Hamas in response to the group’s cross-border attack on southern Israel on October 7, 2023, during which about 1,200 people were killed and more than 250 others were taken hostage.

More than 34,780 people have been killed in Gaza since then, according to the territory’s Hamas-run health ministry.

Gusty da Costa

Journalist

 

Editor

 

Interview

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