Indonesia Sends Aid to Gaza Palestine This Weekend, Here's the Challenging Process

Ahad, 5 November 2023 | 08:30 WIB

Indonesia Sends Aid to Gaza Palestine This Weekend, Here's the Challenging Process

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lalu Muhamad Iqbal. (Screenshoot MoFA Youtube).

Jakarta, NU Online

The Indonesian government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Kemlu) will immediately send humanitarian aid to Gaza, Palestine starting this weekend. The government assesses that the aid in the form of goods that will be sent is in accordance with the requests or needs of the Palestinian people.

"So, last week, we communicated with them, in New York I also communicated directly with the Palestinian Foreign Minister to get information regarding the items they needed," said Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi in a press conference in Jakarta, which was broadcasted on YouTube MoFA Indonesia, Wednesday (1/10/2023).

The aid that will be sent, continued Retno, will not only come from the government, but also from humanitarian institutions in Indonesia. "Therefore, I also want to express my gratitude to ladies and gentlemen from humanitarian organizations in Indonesia who have agreed to join us, showing a sense of humanitarian solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Gaza," he said.

Retno said that details regarding the assistance would be provided at the time of the release of the aid, namely this weekend. "So friends, that's what I can convey regarding updates from the field," he concluded.

In the mean time, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lalu Muhamad Iqbal in the forum also explained the tortuous process for the aid to reach Gaza residents. This aid, explained Lalu, will later be sent to Egypt. Then, in Egypt, the aid will be handed over to the Egyptian Crescent (a body such as Palang Indonesia, PMI). The Egyptian Crescent will then coordinate with the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNWR), to deliver it in Gaza.

"So, later the process, we will carry out is to send it to Egypt, one of the closest airports in Egypt with Rafah being the closest to the border. So, we will go down there, from there it will be forwarded by the Egyptian Red Crescent, because only the Egyptian Red Crescent is authorized to bring goods in. Then later the Egyptian Red Crescent, upon arrival in Gaza, will be handed back to UNWRA, to then be distributed to the people in Gaza."

Meanwhile, Ali Yusuf from IHA said that after coordinating with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, his party organized and mobilized IHA member institutions, which number more than 20 humanitarian institutions and also zakat institutions.

“We have gathered support from the community or from the Indonesian public. To date, it has amounted to approximately IDR 5 billion. But we realize that this situation cannot be supported only once or twice, but this is a process that will take quite a long time," he said.

For the first period, continued Ali, his party's support through the Indonesian government will be sent approximately 2.5 billion. "Consisting of ready-to-eat food that is durable, which can last up to 6 months, and then also blankets and mattresses," he added. 

Meanwhile, M Imdadun Rahmat from Baznas – the state amil zakat institution which is given the authority to manage zakat nationally and has representative offices in 34 provinces and 515 districts/cities – reported that, as of Wednesday, public funds collected were around 10 billion more.

"Thank God, this has fulfilled the target stated by the Chairman of Baznas some time ago, namely the target was 12 billion, it turns out that in just 3 days the target was achieved," he said.

Furthermore, Imdad said that the aid prepared showed the good news that the Indonesian people's spirit of solidarity was very great with their brothers and sisters in Palestine. "Well, this is also an increased responsibility for us to ensure that we can actually channel these public funds to Gaza," he added.

Imdad also said that for the first stage, Baznas had spent donations in the form of goods worth 1.7 billion, which would be entrusted to the first group this weekend. "The items are no different, because we also refer to items recommended by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs," he added.

The Nahdlatul Ulama (PBNU) Executive Board through NU Care-LAZISNU also invited the public to distribute aid to Palestinians. To make it easier for the public, LAZISNU created a 2023 Palestine Donation fundraising page via the following link

Author: Ahmad Naufa 
Editor: Muhammad Syakir NF
Translator: Gayatri