In a powerful virtual forum titled “Time to Scream to the World: Stop Genocide,” Indonesian doctors have rallied support from the global medical community to condemn Israeli strikes on hospitals in Gaza. Organised by the Medical Emergency Rescue Committee (MER-C), the event brought together over 1,000 participants, predominantly representing medical groups across Indonesia. The focus of the forum was the urgent need to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, particularly the impact of Israeli airstrikes on healthcare facilities and personnel.
Healthcare Workers Targeted in Gaza
The Indonesia Hospital in northern Gaza, funded by MER-C, stands as a critical facility providing medical assistance amid the ongoing conflict. Since the commencement of daily bombardments on October 7, Israeli airstrikes have claimed the lives of over 12,000 people, with a significant number being women and children. Shockingly, healthcare professionals, including doctors, paramedics, and nurses, have become increasingly targeted, a direct violation of the protections afforded by the Geneva Convention.
MER-C Chairman Dr. Sarbini Murad expressed solidarity with the health workers in Gaza, emphasising the sacrifices made by those risking their lives to save others. Dr. Murad urged health workers worldwide not to remain silent in the face of the atrocities committed against their colleagues in Gaza.
Violation of Geneva Convention
In an open letter, major Indonesian healthcare associations, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, and midwives, decried the Israeli attacks on medical facilities. The letter highlighted that 22 hospitals and 49 health centres in Gaza had ceased operations due to the ongoing strikes, constituting a clear violation of the first Geneva Convention of 1949 and its additional protocols of 1977.
The associations called upon the United Nations, the global health community, and international organisations to take immediate and concrete steps to halt Israeli attacks on medical facilities and personnel in Gaza. Additionally, they urged the Indonesian government to engage in robust diplomacy on the international stage, pressuring Israel to cease its aggression in Gaza.
Indonesia’s Historic Support for Palestine
Indonesia’s unwavering support for the Palestinian cause is deeply rooted in historical ties. Palestinians were among the first to recognize Indonesia’s independence in 1945, and the Indonesian constitution mandates the pursuit of Palestinian statehood, aligning with its commitment to abolishing colonialism.
As the global community grapples with the dire situation in Gaza, the call from Indonesia’s medical community resonates as a plea for international solidarity and immediate action to protect healthcare workers and ensure the resumption of medical services in the besieged region. The impact of the conflict on healthcare facilities highlights the urgent need for a collective response to address the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Gaza.