Rabu 24 Jan 2024 21:09 WIB

Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs: Middle East Faces Threat of Open War

Indonesia pushes for fresh ceasefire in Gaza

Rep: Kamran Dikarma / Red: Erdy Nasrul
Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi pushes for three solutions to end Gaza War.
Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi pushes for three solutions to end Gaza War.

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA — Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi highlighted the growing tensions in the Middle East region due to the war in the Gaza Strip. According to him, at the moment the threat of an open war in the region is real and ongoing.

“Today, military action has extended beyond Gaza. The threat of open war in the Middle East is a very real and ongoing danger,” Retno said while participating in a UN Security Council open debate on the situation in Gaza on Tuesday (23/1/2024).

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Responding to the situation, Retno stressed the importance of three things to the UN Security Council. First, the importance of an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza.

“It's going to be a game changer for everything. Most importantly, it will provide space to address the humanitarian situation in Gaza, start post-conflict reconstruction efforts, and a two-state solution process,” he said.

Second, Palestine should be accepted as a full member of the UN immediately. “This is important so that a fair and balanced process can be started immediately to realize a two-state solution and prevent further atrocities by Israel,” the Minister of Foreign Affairs said.

Then lastly, stop the supply of weapons to Israel. Retno reminded that any weapons sent to Israel could be used to kill innocent civilians.

“In my statement I reiterated that Israel must be held accountable for its actions, including the atrocities they committed in Gaza. I reiterate also that no country is immune from the law,” he said.

During the meeting, the Minister expressed sharp criticism of the many UN Security Council resolutions related to Palestine being violated, but without sanctions against the violators. He stressed that the Security Council's mandate was to maintain peace, not to tolerate genocide.

In his statement, Retno questioned about how many Palestinian-related resolutions had already been adopted. Then of those resolutions, how many were actually implemented.

“For the record, I deliberately referred the question to the Security Council because I saw many resolutions violated regarding Palestine but there were never sanctions for violators,” the Foreign Minister said.

“Further in my statement I also said where should the Palestinians complain if, for decades, the UN Security Council has failed to implement its own resolutions, while Israel kills the Palestinian people without punishment? Retno added.

He reminded that the UN Charter clearly stipulates that UN Security Council resolutions are binding and must be implemented. The Minister of Foreign Affairs said that more than 25,000 Gazans have been killed since Israel began its aggression on October 7, 2023. Gazans dying from hunger and cold are also growing.

“I remind you that the UN Security Council has a mandate to maintain international peace and security, and not to tolerate war, let alone genocide,” Retno said.

Retno stressed that all countries have a responsibility to respect international humanitarian law without exception, including in relation to the situation in Gaza.

“Once again I urge the members of the Security Council to immediately stop the fear that Palestinians face every day in Gaza and also in the West Bank,” he said.

Although it has killed more than 25,000 people and destroyed 60 percent of its infrastructure, the war in Gaza seems likely to continue into the coming months.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has categorized the fight against Hamas that is currently underway in Gaza as a “third phase”. “Netanyahu said that it would take six months for the army to complete the third phase of the war, which has begun in the northern Gaza Strip,” Israel's public broadcaster, KAN, said in a report on Tuesday.

Netanyahu said that the first phase of aerial bombardment of the Gaza Strip took three weeks. “And just as we said that the massive maneuvering of the second part will take three months, and rightly so, then we say that the third part of establishing control will last six months,” Netanyahu was quoted as saying by KAN.

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