Jakarta (ANTARA) - Four Indonesian citizens, namely Abdillah Onim, his three children, and his Palestinian wife were successfully evacuated from the Gaza Strip to Cairo, Egypt, Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi stated.

"Praise be to God, on November 2, at around 19:00 Egyptian time, we were able to evacuate four Indonesian nationals and one Palestinian from Gaza," she noted in a press conference in Jakarta on Friday.

After traveling for seven hours and covering a distance of 367 kilometers, the family and the evacuation team arrived in Cairo at 3:00 local time, she remarked.

"The evacuation was not an easy thing to do," Marsudi emphasized.

On November 1, Onim's family residing in Gaza City attempted to get to the Rafah border but had to return due to the hostile situation arising due to ongoing attacks from Israel to the Palestinian militant group, Hamas.

Onim's family and the evacuation team then returned to their place of origin while waiting for the situation to improve. The evacuation effort was carried out again in the morning of November 2 but was unsuccessful.

"For the third time, on November 2 afternoon, the evacuation attempt was finally successful," Marsudi remarked.

Apart from security issues, the minister explained that the obstacle faced in the field was the disrupted communication network that hampered coordination.

Despite disruption in communication, the Indonesian government and the evacuation team from the Indonesian Embassy in Cairo continued the communication attempt until they finally succeeded in rescuing Onim's family from Gaza, she stated.

"Thank you, God. Thank you, Minister Marsudi. We are on the way to the embassy, thank you for your help," Onim said in a voice message played to the media during the press conference.

In accordance with the Egyptian government regulations, all foreign nationals, including Indonesian citizens, who were evacuated from Gaza, are given 3 x 24 hours to immediately leave the country.

The government promises to facilitate Onim and his family to be moved to a safe area, either to Indonesia or another country.

After successfully rescuing four Indonesian citizens, the government will still attempt to evacuate another Indonesian citizen and his family, namely Muhammad Hussein and his children and wife from Gaza, Marsudi remarked.

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Translator: Yashinta Difa P, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Sri Haryati
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