…based on the latest information, of the 133 Indonesian citizens who stay outside the Gaza Strip, only 4 people want to leave the area.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - At least 129 Indonesian nationals in Palestine and Israel have refused to be evacuated amid rising tensions between the two nations, the Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry has informed.

Director for the Protection of Citizens and Legal Entities Overseas at the ministry Judha Nugraha said the Indonesian citizens who have refused to be evacuated are those who are married to local residents or have permanent jobs in the West Bank, Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem.

"The government's task is to provide information regarding the assessment of the security situation, but the choice to be evacuated lies with each citizen. We cannot force them," Nugraha informed at a press conference in Jakarta on Friday.

He noted that in accordance with Law Number 37 of 1999 concerning Foreign Relations, the government has provided the latest information regarding the security situation in Palestine and Israel and has appealed to Indonesian citizens to immediately leave the conflict area.

"However, based on the latest information, of the 133 Indonesian citizens who stay outside the Gaza Strip, only four people want to leave the area. The others refused to be evacuated because they felt safe," he said.

Apart from the 133 Indonesian citizens spread across a number of Israeli and Palestinian territories, the government said that 10 Indonesian citizens are in the Gaza Strip, which is the main target of Israeli air attacks on Palestine.

Thus, there are a total of 143 Indonesian citizens in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict area.

Since the war broke, triggered by an attack by the Palestinian Hamas militant group on Israel on October 7, 2023, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has carried out intensive coordination with the Indonesian embassies in Amman, Cairo, Beirut, and Damascus as well as the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia (PTRI) in Geneva to obtain information about the prevailing security situation and prepare evacuation plans for Indonesian citizens.

Indonesian representatives in Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, and Syria have also coordinated with local state authorities, including immigration authorities to anticipate the evacuation of Indonesian citizens to neighboring countries.

"We prepared for contingency plans, including evacuation scenario routes," Nugraha disclosed.

According to him, the evacuation routes include the land route to Amman, Jordan; the land route to Cairo, Egypt; as well as commercial flight routes to third countries.

"We are not only developing one scenario because the situation is very difficult. Learning from our previous evacuation experiences, we are open to various options while the implementation will depend on the situation on the ground," he informed.

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Translator: Yashinta Difa P, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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