RAMALLAH, West Bank – Israeli authorities reportedly barred the Indonesian Foreign Minister from crossing into Palestinian territory on Sunday to inaugurate an Indonesian consulate in the West Bank.
According to several news reports, the minister, Retno Marsudi was denied entry to meet with Palestinian officials to appoint Indonesian envoy Maha Abu-Shusheh.
Retno Marsudi was scheduled to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Foreign Minister Riad Malki.
However, according to the Associated Press, Malki travelled to neighbouring Jordan to meet Marsudi instead.
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon refused to comment on the issue, but Israeli media reported Marsudi was denied access to the West Bank because she was not slated to meet Israeli officials.
Indonesian media had reported that Retno had also made Maha’s official appointment at the Jordanian capital of Amman.
“The bottom line is that Israeli efforts to obstruct Indonesia to induct its envoy in Ramallah did not succeed because it was done in Amman (instead) and the appointment had taken effect immediately,” she was quoted as saying in detikcom yesterday.
Retno told the popular Indonesian news site that her delegation was prevented from entering the Palestinian city because Israeli authorities did not provide clearance for its charted flight on board a Jordanian government-owned aircraft to land there.
“But this does not prevent the inauguration of the consulate in Ramallah as it was done this afternoon at 15:00 hrs in Amman with the Palestinian foreign minister present. Mission accomplished, it’s done, thank god,” she said.
With the largest Muslim population in the world, Indonesia has continued to show political and developmental support for Palestine and the opening of the consul’s office there, Retno said during the inauguration speech, was clear evidence of this.
Last week, Retno called for an end to “Israel’s injustice” against Palestine and its people during the 5th extraordinary session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Palestine in Jakarta.
“Israel’s intransigence towards Palestine and Jerusalem continues along with its illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories,” she told 500 delegates at the summit, adding their support would lay the foundations for stability and peace in Palestine.
Additional reporting by Associated Press