Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Vice President Jusuf Kalla attended a function marking the symbolic handover of Indonesian Hospital by the Medical Emergency Rescue Committee (MER-C) to the Palestinians at the Ismail Marzuki Park here on Saturday night.

"It seems that the question of Palestine had been neglected due to myriad problems in the Middle East. Therefore, the government highly praises MER-C for taking the initiative ahead of the government to take special action and give alms by building a hospital in Gaza, Palestine," the vice president said.

Although the construction of the hospital was not entirely funded by the government, it reflects Indonesias solidarity with the Palestinians, particularly those living in conflict-plagued Gaza, he said.

He expressed the hope that the construction of the hospital, which he described as a form of Indonesias support for Palestinian independence, would result in relations between Indonesia and Palestine becoming increasingly closer.

"Good friendship is always remembered if we help (others) in their difficult time. Of course, if our Muslim brothers are facing problems, we must help them," he said.

Also present at the function were Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Education and Culture Minister Anies Baswedan, Aceh Deputy Governor Muzakir Manaf, Palestinian Health Minister Hani Abdeen, and Palestinian Ambassador to Indonesia Fariz Mehdawi.

The hospital began serving the Palestinians after it was inaugurated on December 27 last year.

The construction of the hospital was fully funded by donations received from the Indonesian community through various charity programs for Palestinians.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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