Rabu 08 Nov 2023 15:07 WIB

Humanitarian Aid from Indonesians Goes to Rafah

The Palestinian population needs currently 300 container trucks per day.

Rep: Imas Damayanti, Mabruroh/ Red: Fitriyan Zamzami
Officers pack logistics for Palestinian humanitarian aid at Baznas Headquarters, Jakarta, Thursday (2/11/2023).
Foto: Republika/Thoudy Badai
Officers pack logistics for Palestinian humanitarian aid at Baznas Headquarters, Jakarta, Thursday (2/11/2023).

JAKARTA — Dhuafa Wallet is distributing the first phase of assistance through cooperation with a number of partners and the Indonesian Government who have landed at El-Arish International Airport, Egypt. The aid was immediately sent to the Rafah border, which is the gateway to the Gaza Strip.

“Yesterday, three planes carrying aid to the Palestinians landed safely and later headed for Rafah. Whether the aid through Rafah has reached Gaza or not, we have not been able to update it,” said Dhuafa Prima's Director of Communications and Technology Prima Hadi Putra during a press conference regarding the update of aid distribution and current conditions in Palestine, at Philantrophy Building Jakarta, Tuesday (7/11/2023). 

Baca Juga

Nevertheless, Putra explained, Dhuafa Wallet has a professional network and work partners in the field. According to him, the aid delivered will continue to be monitored and evaluated for the second phase of aid planning. Prima monegasken, the Palestinian issue is a major humanitarian issue in Indonesia and for the world community. The government is considered to be the main stakeholder in carrying out this humanitarian mission with which Dhuafa Wallet continues to go hand in hand. 

So far, he claimed to be in constant communication with the government, especially regarding the first tranche of aid that has just been delivered. “So we will continue to stick with the government to also evaluate the first phase of aid and to put into action the next phase aid plan,” he said.

 

Not only with the government, Dhuafa Wallet also often engages in intense communication with other philanthropic leaders. The aim is to coordinate the next steps in the humanitarian mission in Palestine. “Our partnership with local organizations, whether in Gaza or in Turkey, is a step full of coordination. This is what DD is doing,” he said.

He said that the current needs of the Palestinian people are about 300 container trucks per day. But the aid that can get to Palestine amounts to only 10 percent or 30 trucks alone. This number is certainly far from the needs of the Palestinian people. “As of Monday, 30 trucks entered Gaza. That is, the situation is quite different and cannot cover the entire needs of the Palestinian people,” Putra said.

Putra said that there are at least a number of paths that Dhuafa Wallet follows in channeling and ensuring aid reaches Palestine. First, he said, a self-contained path that until recently had relatively no implementation-related issues except stock. “Some of our partners are still using the stock in the warehouse for the first two weeks of logistics. This option remains we continue. We plan to do a general kitchen establishment for 500 servings daily. We have been working on this with our partners,” Putra said during a press conference regarding the update of aid distribution and current conditions in Palestine, at Philantrophy Building Jakarta, Tuesday (7/11/2023).

Next, he said, medical aid was through the Indonesian Humanitarian Aid (IHA) line, which plans to send a convoy of 12 trucks, of which 5 containers were delivered from Dhuafa Wallet. “This is how we send stockpiles to Gaza. With the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, aid can go to Rafah and all aid there is managed by UNRWA, as we know, many UNRWA volunteers have fallen so this is also a challenge in the humanitarian mission,” he said. Next, through the cargo line. Dhuafa's wallet, he said, plans to try to explore cargo by sea as well as air cargo.

The Rafah Line is a border area located in Egypt and connects to the southern Palestinian territories. This border gate has been known to undergo opening and closing of access. What are the challenges and conditions of the Rafah line regarding the distribution of aid to Palestine? Director of Dakwah Social Services and Wallet Culture Dhuafa Ustaz Sonhaji describes his experience as well as the current situation in the Rafah Strip. He explained that the position and conditions on the Rafah Line in the past and now do not experience much significant differences. The Egyptian government is judged to have not intervened strongly enough on the route.

“In 2008, I was with Dhuafa Wallet partners channeling aid through the Rafah Line, indeed since a long time ago this border was quite tight. Those of us who went from Cairo to Rafah at that time, if we wanted to go to Gaza, we had to pass through a very remarkable check point, so that from 5-10 kilometers there was a check point,” Ustaz Sonhaji told a news conference.

According to him, there must be a specific strategy in order to cross the Rafah border to channel logistical and cash aid to the Palestinian people. He also explained that the current conditions of the Rafah Line are not much different. At the moment, much of the aid in the containers has been left to accumulate because it cannot immediately enter the Gaza Strip.

Those queues of container trucks, Ustaz Sonhaji said, could be more than 10 kilometres long. Of the many container trucks waiting in line, only 10-30 trucks were able to enter Gaza. Surely, the needs of the people of Gaza are far more than the aid that can come in.

Baznas Help

Phase 1 humanitarian aid channeled through the National Amil Zakat Agency (Baznas) also arrived at Egypt's El Arish International Airport on Monday (6/11/2023). The aid arrived intact and without any damage.

“The goods delivered to Gaza are intact, nothing is damaged, it remains how to get into Rafah,” said Baznas RI Head of Collection, Rizaludin Kurniawan, at UMJ Campus, Ciputat, South Tangerang, Tuesday (7/11/2023).

According to Rizal, humanitarian aid items from Indonesia are currently being stored in warehouses, to wait for vehicles to be brought to Rafah gate.” All items are being loaded, prepared, later KBRI will hand over to the International Red Cross to enter Rafah,” he explained.

In phase 1, the humanitarian aid collected by Baznas amounted to 21.5 tons. Aid is delivered by the government through the Air Force (AU) military. At the moment, Rizal continued, his side is working to send phase 2 aid that is already very ready. Rizal hopes that the government can again facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza for free.

photo
Indonesian President Joko Widodo places stickers on aid supplies during an inspection of aid for Palestinians in Gaza, before departing from Halim Perdanakusuma air base in Jakarta, Indonesia, Saturday (4/11/2023). - (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

Officers transport logistics for Palestinian humanitarian aid at Baznas Headquarters, Jakarta, Thursday (2/11/2023). Badan Amil Zakat Nasional (Baznas) RI distributes logistical assistance in the form of food needs, hostages and a number of medicines to Palestinians amounting to 21 tons or worth Rp5.5 billion. According to the head of Baznas RI, Saidah Sakwan ensured that the humanitarian aid would be received by Palestinians after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs coordinated with UNRWA in Palestine and would be delivered through Rafah's door. 

According to him, if Baznas has to find his own vehicle, has to charter a plane, then the funds should be spent at Rp 9 billion. Even if there is a discount, Rizal said, the price is still above Rp 4 billion. “It remains impossible, community funding (for Palestinians) to pay for the center, so we ask the government for help to facilitate the delivery of the second,” Rizal said.

According to Rizal, the request has been coordinated to the foreign ministry. In addition, Rizal also proposed a second option, which is to spend urgent aid in Egypt. Baznas, Rizal said, has about 300 students in Egypt who receive scholarships from Baznas, who, if allowed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will immediately ask for their help to shop. The last alternative, we ask the Ministry for permission, how about we only shop in Egypt, so that there are no such expensive aircraft charters, so here we are again allowed to shop in Egypt only,” he explained.

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