"The members of the team are engineers and will go to Gaza via Egypt," chairman of the MER-C Indonesia presidium dr.Sarbini Abdul Murad said here Saturday night.
He explained that by Emirates Airlines in the Jakarta-Dubai-Cairo route, the team was scheduled to leave on Sunday (Nov 13) morning and arrive in Cairo, Egypt, on Sunday (Nov 13) at 10.55 local time.
The team was led by chairman of the MER-C construction division Ir.Faried Talib with Ir.Idrus Muhammad Alatas and Ir.Nur Ikhwan Abadi as members.
Dr.Sarbini said the team was expected to be in Gaza for at least two weeks. Meanwhile, Ir.Nur Ikhwan Abadi planned to stay in Gaza joining the other six Indonesian volunteers who are still there to oversee the Indonesia hospital construction.
"We have asked all Indonesians to pray for the success of the project," he said.
Faried Talib added the team`s target is to directly supervise and evaluate the construction of the hospital which has been 50 percent completed.
In addition, it will prepare the second phase of the tender for architectural work and mechanical and electrical equipment of the hospital in Gaza.
Dr.Sarbini explained they finally got an entry permit from the Egyptian foreign ministry to enter the Gaza Strip, Palestine, for building the hospital.
"After waiting for 20 days, finally the Egyptian foreign ministry issued a permit for the MER-C engineering team consisting of four people to enter Gaza through the Rafah border," he said.
According to him, information on the permit was made by the Indonesian embassy in Cairo, as the party which has helped facilitate the issuance of the permit for the MER-C team to the Gaza Strip on Monday (Oct 24).
He explained initially the confirmation about the entry permit to Gaza was received in a short message from the political section of the Indonesian embassy in Cairo followed by the necessary papers sent by electronic mail of the embassy on the same day.
Dr.Sarbini asserted that the team decided not to leave until the permission of the Egyptian foreign ministry was secured. It was based on the previous experience, in which the engineers of the MER-C team who in May 2011 did not get a permission to go to Gaza although they had been waiting for a month in Egypt.
However, the tender of the Indonesian hospital`s construction must be continued so that the whole process of the tender and interview with the contractor was finally done via teleconference between Gaza and Egypt.
Even the signing of a memorandum of understanding on the Indonesian hospital`s construction between the MER-C team in Egypt and the tender which won contractor in Gaza was carried out by quite unique.
Dr.Sarbini explained the uniqueness was that the Mer-C team entrusted the MoU documents to a person who went to Gaza from Rafah gate (in Egypt), while the contractor was waiting for the documents at the Rafah gate (in Gaza).
Once the MoU was read and signed by the contractor, the documents re-deposited by a person who went to the Rafah gate (Egypt) where the MER-C team was still waiting.
"Although the process was winding, the construction of the Indonesian hospital progressed step by step. On May 14, 2011 the construction of the Indonesia hospital in Bayt Lahiya, North Gaza was finally started," Dr.Sarbini said.
The construction of the Indonesian hospital in Gaza was started from the mission of humanitarian relief team from Indonesia who brought medical supplies from the government and the Indonesians to Gaza people from 2008 to 2009.
At that time the mission was led by dr.Rustam S.Pakaya who served as head of the crisis control of the ministry of health and Aidil Chandra Salim, the director of Middle Eastern affairs of the foreign ministry.
But, furthermore the Indonesian government fund which should be combined with those raised by MER-C Indonesia to build the hospital was diverted to other uses in the Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza.