JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Humanitarian organizations and interfaith leaders, members of the Indonesian Humanitarian Alliance (IHA), strongly condemn Israel's military aggression against Palestine.
The stance was announced in the press conference at Sofyan Hotel, Menteng, Central Jakarta, Tuesday (18/5/2021).
The humanitarian organizations include the Human Initiative, MDMC/Muhammadiyah Aid, LPBI NU/NU Care, Dompet Dhuafa, Rumah Zakat, National Zakat Agency (Baznas), LAZ Wahdah, Forum Zakat (FOZ), Daarut Tauhid Peduli (DT Peduli), LAZ LMI, Social Trust Fund UIN, and Karina Caritas Indonesia.
In addition, Nurul Hayat, Al Falah Social Fund Foundation (Yayasan Dana Sosial Al Falah), LAZ Al-Irsyad, Pusat Zakat Umat, Rumah Yatim, Indonesian Islamic Da'wah Council (Dewan Dakwah Islamiyah Indonesia), Sinergi Foundation, Indonesian Humanitarian Forum, Representatives of Indonesian Buddhist (Walubi), Supreme Council for the Confucian Religion in Indonesia (Matakin), The Association of Zakat Management Organizations (Poroz), and the ADRA Indonesia Foundation.
The armed conflict between Israel and Palestine caused hundreds of casualties and thousands of injured civilians. The victims are mostly children and women.
In addition, public facilities such as schools, hospitals, and places of worship were also damaged by the attacks between the two countries.
Based on information compiled from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) and the BBC, Monday (17/5/2021), 200 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip were killed, including 59 children. The number of injured victims reached 1,305 people.
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In the West Bank, there were 17 people killed, including 2 children. There are 42,000 survivors taking refuge in 50 schools of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).
“Civilians are the ones who suffer the most from the armed conflict between Israel and Palestine. Moreover, most countries in the world are still struggling to get out of the Covid-19 pandemic crisis, including Palestine,” said the Chairman of the IHA Committee Muhammad Ali Yusuf in a press conference attended by Kompas.com.
Considering the condition, the IHA urged Israel to stop all forms of aggression and discrimination against Palestinians, and comply with the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights in providing broad protection to civilians.
"Israel must immediately cease actions that violate the International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Conventions of 1949, and keep the 1977 Additional Protocol regarding the protection of civilians from conflict and war. In particular, children, women, people with disabilities, the elderly, and other vulnerable groups," said Ali.
Hoping for UN sensitivity
Israel's attack on Palestine has resulted in not only a humanitarian crisis but also a disruption in the international security and peace. Therefore, on this occasion, IHA also hoped for UN sensitivity to resolve the conflicts between the two countries.
Representative of Karina Caritas Internationalis, Father Fredy Rante Taruk, said that his party had prepared assistance for conflict victims in the Gaza Strip. However, these efforts are faced with obstacles.
“Recently, Caritas Internationalis has sent health services, nutritious food provision, and psychosocial assistance to communities affected by the tragedy of humanity that occurred in the Middle East. Mainly in the Gaza Strip," said Fredy.
However, continued Fredy, representatives of Caritas Internationalis in Jerusalem faced difficulties in distributing the aid, as the occurring attacks were much bigger than before.
"We are unable to send the aid that had been prepared while the attacks are still underway. Caritas Internationalis mobile health service post is very ready to help the victims as soon as the attacks stop," he explained.
Responding to this problem, the IHA hopes that the Israeli, Palestinian, Jordanian, and Egyptian authorities will open up access to the Gaza Strip.
Not only that, the IHA also requested these parties to guarantee the safety of humanitarian activists and organizations in distributing humanitarian aid, alongside journalists and medical personnel in carrying out their duties.
Ali emphasizes that as a member of the UN Human Rights Council, the Indonesian government is pursuing various diplomatic steps through international forums to stop the war currently taking place between Israel and Palestine.
The move involves some multilateral organizations, such as ASEAN, the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and the Non-Aligned Movement.
"IHA fully supports the efforts of the Republic of Indonesia government in various international forums. We also encourage Indonesia's active leadership role as a member of the UN Human Rights Council,” said Ali.
Disaster Risk Reduction Unit of the Council of Churches in Indonesia (PRB PGI) and Protestant Christian humanitarian activist Jonathan Victor Rembeth expressed similar statement.
Jonathan said that the IHA and the leaders of interfaith humanitarian action encouraged the Indonesian government as a member of the UN Human Rights Council to carry out its function as a peacemaker.
At the end of the event, IHA hopes that all Indonesian people can support and provide assistance to the victims affected by the conflict in Palestine.