Indonesia and Malaysia advocate for unrestricted humanitarian access to Gaza
Yasemin Beyza Uçar
South and East Asia Human Rights Researcher
Global Human Rights Defence
Current Situation in Gaza
Gaza’s Ministry of Health reported that the continuous bombardments in Gaza caused a total of almost 6,000 deaths, including around 2,500 children. Fear arises that hundreds of bodies are trapped and stuck under the rubble. The Ministry of Housing in Gaza also reported that almost 50 percent of all housing units are destroyed in the Gaza Strip. Additionally, schools, mosques, and even hospitals are being bombed. Gaza is running out of fuel, food, and water. Current estimations state that there are around 3 litres a day available per person for cooking, washing, and drinking (NRC Media).
Indonesia and Malaysia’s view on the importance of unrestricted humanitarian aid into Gaza.
Malaysia and Indonesia highlighted the importance of an unimpeded humanitarian path into Gaza to help with the disaster (The Star).
Even though Israel was demanded multiple times by the international community to stop the military operation, Israel chose to resume its aggressive actions. Israel is not obeying global demands and continues to cease its military activities. This situation killed another 2,215 people in Gaza, which also includes 724 children and 458 Women.
The Israeli regime additionally cut off water and electricity supplies for Gaza, which is just worsening the critical humanitarian situation for the Palestinians (The Star).
Malaysia and Indonesia do not recognize Israel. Many Arab states chose to have normal relations with Tel Aviv, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur to advocate for the Palestinians (Aiza Mohamad).
For many Middle Eastern nations, an uncomfortable situation arose when Israel attacked the Gaza Strip. The United Arab Emirates, Morocco and Bahrain normalised their relations with Israel just recently but feel politically and spiritually obliged to defend Gaza and the Palestinians. Israel is not facing any issues from these nations, nor from other international communities that recognize Israel over Palestine (Aiza Mohamad).
Therefore, Malaysia and Indonesia are challenged with the additional responsibility to object to Israel’s description of the conflict. Muslim-majority states, especially in the Middle East, are holding Israel accountable for the conflict. In contrast, the United States and part of Europe show that their understanding of humanitarian principles applies to Israelis, not to Palestinians. Many Arab states are trying to work together with Israel, but either way, the Arab states hold Israel accountable and defend the Palestinians right to self-determination (Aiza Mohamad).
Gaza faced double the fatality rate compared to Israel’s suffering caused by Hamas. It does not end here, as Israeli Defense Forces declare to commence a ground offensive in Gaza soon, which guarantees the death of more innocent civilians. The recognition of Israel caused a much more significant gap between Israel and Palestine (Aiza Mohamad).
Sources and further readings:
NRC Media. (2023, October 24). 10 things you should know about the humanitarian situation in Gaza. Norwegian Refugee Council. Retrieved October 24, 2023, from 10 things you should know about the humanitarian situation in Gaza | NRC.
The Star. (2023, October 15). Indonesia and Malaysia highlight the importance of unimpeded humanitarian corridor into Gaza. The Star. Retrieved October 20, 2023, from Indonesia and Malaysia highlight the importance of unimpeded humanitarian corridor into Gaza | The Star.
Aiza Mohamad. (2023, October 23). The Growing Significance of Malaysia and Indonesia’s Non-Recognition of Israel. The Diplomat. Retrieved October 24, 2023, from The Growing Significance of Malaysia and Indonesia’s Non-Recognition of Israel – The Diplomat.