Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia strongly condemns the labeling of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) as a terrorist organization by Israel, Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi said on Wednesday.

"Currently, Israel is labeling UNRWA as a terrorist organization. Indonesia strongly condemns this act," she emphasized during a working meeting with Commission I of the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR RI).

According to her, the terror labeling is Israel's attempt to weaken UNRWA systematically.

The minister noted that Israel previously carried out systematic efforts to weaken UNRWA by accusing its staff of being involved in the Hamas attack on October 7, 2023, causing several donor countries to freeze their support to the agency.

"Based on the investigation, no such things were proven. After unproven accusations, several countries have revived their assistance to UNRWA, but the United States has decided to stop its assistance to UNRWA," Marsudi highlighted.

Moreover, Israel's systematic weakening of UNRWA has a more strategic goal, namely eliminating the refugee issue, she said.

"If the refugee issue does not exist then the refugees will be forced to stay in their host countries forever, and the issue of returning to the homeland for Palestinian refugees will be erased. This is what they are after," Marsudi expounded.

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has also tried to eliminate the two-state solution on several occasions, she said.

"It means Palestine will continue to be wiped out. Israel is systematically trying to eliminate Palestine's right to have a state," she added.

She also noted that the situation in Palestine is worsening.

"There is not a single sentence that can describe the situation in Palestine is improving. It is getting worse," she said.

The Israeli Knesset (parliament) on May 29, 2024, approved a Bill to recognize the UNRWA as a terrorist organization for further discussion before final ratification.

The Bill was submitted by Knesset member Yulia Malinovsky from the right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu Party. It was approved by 42 Knesset members and rejected by just six members in the initial discussion stage.

If passed, the Bill will provide a legal basis for applying articles of Israel's anti-terrorism law and imposing criminal articles related to terrorist organizations on UNRWA.

It would also lead to the severance of any communications and ties between Israel and UNRWA as well as the closure of the organization's offices in Israel.

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Translator: Melalusa Susthira K, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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