Jakarta (ANTARA) - Three Indonesian humanitarian workers at the Indonesian Hospital have decided to continue staying in the besieged Gaza Strip despite Israel's ongoing bombardment and siege, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi stated.

"They have, so far, decided to keep staying in Gaza," she noted in a video statement she made inside Indonesia's Presidential Aircraft during President Joko Widodo's flight for Washington D.C. on Sunday.

The three Indonesian citizens are Fikri Rofiul Haq, Reza Aldilla Kurniawan, and Farid Zanzabil Al Ayubi, while seven other Indonesian citizens have successfully been evacuated out of Gaza, she remarked.

Despite their decision to continue staying in Gaza, which is home to more than two million Palestinians, the Indonesian Foreign Ministry's officials in Jakarta will continue to keep in touch with them, Marsudi stated.

The ministry's officials would also continue to communicate with those from the Medical Emergency Rescue Committee (MER-C) in Jakarta to ensure that the three Indonesian humanitarian workers are in good health, she stated.

Meanwhile, seven other Indonesian citizens who have left Gaza safely owing to the Indonesian Foreign Ministry's evacuation mission are Abdillah Onim and his three children and Muhammad Hussein and his two children.

Onim, his three children, and his wife, who holds Palestinian citizenship, left Gaza and crossed Egypt's Rafah border crossing on November 3, Marsudi remarked.

Hussein, his two children, and his wife, who also holds Palestinian citizenship, left Gaza and crossed the Rafah border checkpoint on Sunday (Nov 12), she remarked, adding that they would later return to Indonesia.

ANTARA reported earlier that Abdillah Onim, his wife, and three children arrived in Jakarta on November 6. The Indonesian Foreign Ministry and the Indonesian Embassy in Cairo helped arrange their return to Indonesia.

According to Egypt's regulation, foreign nationals evacuated from Gaza are only allowed to stay in the country for 3 x 24 hours before being repatriated to their home countries or moved to other countries.

The Rafah crossing is the southernmost border checkpoint that has become the sole passage for aid trucks headed to Gaza or foreign nationals evacuated from the overcrowded enclave.

Fresh armed conflict erupted between Palestine and Israel following a surprise attack by Hamas on Israel early in the morning of October 7.

Prior to the assault by Palestinian liberation fighters in Israel, the Israeli government continued its closure of Gaza crossings.

Palestine's news agency WAFA reported on September 25 that the Israeli closure of Gaza crossings had worsened the living conditions of Palestinians in Gaza.

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

Al Jazeera quoted Hamas, which governs Gaza, as stating 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, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared war on Hamas and, according to Al Jazeera, pledged that Israeli forces would "turn all Hamas hideouts into rubble."

Since the war began on Oct 7, the ongoing Israeli genocidal bombardment on Gaza, followed by a ground invasion in the besieged enclave, had reportedly killed more than 11,000 Palestinian civilians.

According to Al Jazeera, two-thirds of those killed in Gaza are women and children.

The Israeli aggression has also triggered a humanitarian crisis and caused hospitals to suspend their operations due to the unavailability of fuel and water supplies.

Related news: Ministry able to evacuate another Indonesian family from Gaza
Related news: Indonesia, Turkey agree to support Palestinian independence

Translator: Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Anton Santoso
Copyright © ANTARA 2023