Indonesian President Joko Widodo speaks out about the lack of progress in combatting the suffering of Palestinians, calling for an immediate ceasefire prior to his meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden. In the midst of a relentless Israeli assault on Gaza, the largest hospital has been forced to cease operations, resulting in a surge of patient fatalities. Hospitals in the region are struggling to provide care due to blockades, power outages, and incoming Israeli attacks.
The conflict has redirected the World Health Organization (WHO)’s attention, with Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus detailing the dire conditions at al-Shifa, stating, “the number of patient fatalities has increased significantly” with the facility no longer functioning as a hospital.
The president of Indonesia, President Joko Widodo, voiced his concerns on the global inaction toward Palestinian suffering during an Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting in Riyadh, demanding an intensified humanitarian response and commencement of peace negotiations. In a joint Islamic-Arab summit, the International Criminal Court was urged to investigate the “war crimes and crimes against humanity that Israel is committing” against the Palestinians.
Hamas’ actions and Israel’s response have garnered international condemnation, with the European Union emphasizing the severe impact on hospitals and civilians and calling out Hamas for using civilians and hospitals as human shields. The United States weighing in and voicing concerns about the use of hospitals and civilian facilities to house fighters and weapons.
On the ground, the situation remains dire, with hospitals struggling to care for patients amidst ongoing combat. The humanitarian cost is becoming a severe concern. Talks of broadening this conflict loom, with Iran-backed groups engaging in attacks against Israel. The United States has responded with airstrikes against Iran-aligned groups in Syria.
At the center of this chaos are the hospitals, with reports from Al-Quds indicating they are also out of service, posing immense risks to patients and babies in care.
Through heightened calls for a ceasefire, the world grapples with the urgency of this situation as President Widodo’s sentiments reflect the helplessness felt in the face of this tragic turmoil.