Indonesia is still struggling to evacuate a family of four from the war-torn Gaza, according to Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi.
A family consisting of Indonesian man Muhammad Hussein, his Palestinian wife, and their two children remain trapped in Gaza. Rafah crossing becomes their only way out of the territory. However, the access on the Gaza side to this crossing was shut. No evacuation process had also taken place over the past two days.
“We could not evacuate the Indonesian family who lived in Southern Gaza. We have received reports that the doors on the Gaza side [of the Rafah crossing] were shut, so it was impossible to carry out an evacuation,” Retno said in a video statement on Monday.
Retno said she had been in contact with multiple stakeholders to make sure that Hussein’s family was safe. She added: “I have contacted Mr. Hussein to cheer him up and tell him that we [the Indonesian government] would keep trying.”
At Friday’s press briefing, Retno told reporters that Hussein’s family had already tried going to the Rafah crossing. However, the family had to return back home due to administrative troubles. Retno said that the administration process to leave Gaza was incredibly strict. The evacuees who could leave Gaza had to get the approval of “many parties in Gaza”. The minister, however, did not say who was responsible for giving permission to those who were eligible to leave Gaza.
In Touch with Indonesian Volunteers
Indonesia has three of its citizens who are currently volunteering for the Medical Emergency Rescue Committee (Mer-C) in Gaza. All three of them have decided to stay.
“The [Indonesian] Foreign Affairs Ministry will continue to be in touch with the three Mer-C volunteers who are currently in the vicinity of the Indonesian hospital. We will also communicate with Mer-C’s Jakarta headquarters to make sure that they are all safe and sound,” Retno said.
Jakarta said last week that an Indonesian family had already fled Gaza. They were Abdillah Onim, an Indonesian man who married a Palestinian woman, along with their three children.
Source: Jakarta Globe