Jakarta (ANTARA) - Four Indonesian citizens have been evacuated from Tel Aviv, Israel, to Jordan, according to director for the protection of citizens and legal entities overseas at the Foreign Ministry, Judha Nugraha.

They have been brought safely to Jordan thanks to intensive coordination between the Foreign Ministry in Jakarta and the Indonesian embassy in Amman, he said at a press conference here on Friday.

The Indonesian evacuees arrived in Jordan safely after a two-hour drive from Israel and crossed the Sheikh Hussein Bridge, he informed, adding that they had expressed their willingness to be evacuated.

Meanwhile, 129 other Indonesians residing in such areas as Palestine's West Bank, Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem (al-Quds) refused to be evacuated because they felt safe despite the ongoing war between Hamas and Israel, he said.

The Indonesian government is currently focusing on evacuating 10 Indonesian citizens from the Gaza Strip, which has faced intense Israeli bombardment since October 7, 2023, he added.

Regarding the evacuation mission, he informed that it can only be carried out if the two warring parties agree to a truce.

A ceasefire is indispensable for opening humanitarian corridors, he said, adding that safety needs to be prioritized in the evacuation process.

"Thus, the evacuation routes must be secure. It is impossible to evacuate our citizens amid ongoing armed conflict," Nugraha said.

He reiterated that the 10 Indonesians in Gaza would be evacuated only once the humanitarian corridors open, he said.

The fresh violence between Israel and Palestine erupted after Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel on Saturday morning. Prior to the Palestinian liberation fighters' assaults, Israel had continued its closure of Gaza crossings.

The WAFA News Agency reported on September 25 that the Israeli closure of the Gaza crossings had worsened the living conditions of Palestinians in Gaza.

According to WAFA, the Palestinians were already suffering from the severe impacts of "more than 17 years of tight Israeli land, sea, and air blockades."

Al Jazeera quoted Hamas, which runs Gaza, as saying that its assault on Israel was "a response to the desecration of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and increased settler violence."

In response to the unprecedented surprise attack, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared war on Hamas and, according to Al Jazeera, pledged that the Israeli forces would "turn all Hamas hideouts into rubble."

Related news: 129 Indonesian nationals refuse to leave Palestine, Israel: ministry
Related news: Indonesia urges ICRC to support evacuation of Indonesians from Gaza

Translator: Yashinta DP, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Azis Kurmala
Copyright © ANTARA 2023