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Indonesia’s Retno Marsudi on Palestine: ‘I Want to Be On the Right Side of History’

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi was back to discuss Palestine at the UN Security Council open debate on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023, calling for concrete actions to stop the violence in Gaza and the West Bank.

“I am back attending the UNSC meeting, because I want to be on the right side of the history. To defend justice and humanity for the Palestinians,” she declared, addressing her statement to Zhang Jung, the Chinese representative as the UNSC President in November.

Indonesia was enraged about the unfolding situation in Gaza, she said, and increasingly concerned with the evolving situation in the West Bank with the Increasing numbers of attacks on the Palestinians including in refugee camps.

“While as part of the humanitarian pause prisoners are being released on the other hand almost the same number of new prisoners are being arbitrarily detained in the West Bank,” she reported.

Israel and the Palestinian resistance group Hamas agreed to exchange hostages during the six-day Qatar-mediated truce. So far, 86 out of around 240 hostages have been freed by Hamas, while Israel released 180 Palestinians it held in prison.

Despite the truce, it is recorded that Israel has arbitrarily detained 133 Palestinians in four days while releasing 150 people. According to the Palestinian Prisoner Association, those arrested were from East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Retno then repeated her statement that the UNSC has a big responsibility to maintain peace and security. The minister welcomed the UNSC Resolution 2712 and the extended humanitarian pause as well as the release of hostages and prisoners.

“But is it enough? No, it is not sufficient. Humanitarian pause is too narrow and too fragile, and will not be able to create a better situation in Gaza,” she added.

Quoting PM Netanyahu’s statement that Israel will restart full military operations when the truce ends, Retno admitted that she cannot understand that statement. “And I further cannot understand if the Security Council let this continued threat against humanity happen,” she said.

Minister Retno proceeded to call for action in Gaza and the West Bank in three steps. First, unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance, in a swift, adequate, safe, well-monitored, and sustained manner throughout Gaza.

Second, ensure adherence to international humanitarian law. This means that Israel must not attack civilians and public infrastructures, particularly hospitals, schools, places of worship, and the UN places of refuge. Third is the importance of a ceasefire to end all hostilities.

The UNSC meeting occurred at the same time as the annual commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people on Nov. 29.

Source : Tempo.co