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Indonesia rejects Israeli accusation that hospital stands above Hamas tunnels

November 7, 2023 at 3:32 pm

Ambulance in front of the Indonesia Hospital in Gaza City, Gaza on August 17, 2022 [Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images]

Indonesia has rejected an Israeli accusation made yesterday that a hospital constructed in the Gaza Strip with Indonesian funding is situated above a network of Hamas tunnels and in close proximity to a launch site for rocket attacks on Israel. The foreign ministry in Jakarta said this morning that the purpose of the Indonesia Hospital in Gaza is to serve the Palestinian population.

“Indonesia Hospital in Gaza is a facility built by Indonesians fully for humanitarian purposes and to serve the medical needs of Palestinians,” said the ministry. It added that the hospital is run by the Palestinian health authorities, helped by a few Indonesian volunteers. “It is currently treating patients far in excess of its official capacity.”

Moreover, the NGO which funds the Indonesian Hospital’s infrastructure, MER-C, said that Israel has tried to craft a “public lie” about the facility.

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“On several occasions, Israel has tried to craft a public lie to make it seem as if the Indonesia Hospital has a bunker to store fuel reserves. We all know that the IDF [Israel Defence Forces] has claimed that the hospital is doing things that Israel deems to be wrong. For that reason, we reject all of it on this occasion,” said Sarbini Murad, the chairman of MER-C’s executive committee in Jakarta.

“We built the Indonesia Hospital in a professional context and according to what is needed by the people of Gaza at the time and right now. The accusations may be Israel’s precondition to attack the Indonesia Hospital in Gaza.”

He appealed to the international community to keep hospitals safe and pointed out that such establishments are protected under international law. “We call on the public to condemn Israel so that it does not commit brutal acts against the Indonesian Hospital.”

Palestinian Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qudra told a news conference in Gaza City last week that Israeli Forces have targeted more than 100 healthcare facilities in Gaza since 7 October. He warned of a “health catastrophe” amid a fuel shortage, which forced the main generator at the Indonesian Hospital in northern Gaza to stop while the main generator at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City is about to stop.

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