The Palestinian Issue

1/20/2016 Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Background and Recent Developments

The Middle East issue, specifically the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the special focuses of Indonesia's foreign policy, including in multilateral forum.

On 29 December 2012, the State of Palestine is granted non-member observer status to the State of Palestine resulted symbolic and strategic effect to Palestine. This increase of status symbolize the strong support of the international community towards Palestine, as well as providing access to increase Palestinian participation in the United Nations and its organs. On 30 September 2015 the Palestinian flag rose for the first time at the United Nations Headquarter in New York. The historic flag rising ceremony was done through the adoption of a General Assembly resolution that gained support from the majority of member states.

The peace process is also discussed in the Security Council. On 30 December 2014, the Security Council has voted on a draft resolution on Palestine that was drafted by Palestine and submitted by Jordan on behalf of the Arab League. The resolution requires for Palestine and Israel to reach truce for one year based on the territorial boundaries from the Agreement of 4 June 1967, a clear time frame of the withdrawal of Israeli occupying force from Palestinian territory at the end of year 2017, and finding a solution for the Palestinian refugees. The Security Council failed to adopt the resolution.

The international community's effort to reach a two state solution remain fruitless. This is worsen by  the Israeli military aggression to Gaza in July 2014 and the increase of violence and hostility in Yerusalem in 2015.

Indonesian Role

During its term as the non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2007-2008, Indonesia was consistently voicing the rights of the Palestinian people including the rights for self-determination and its rights to establish an independent, democratic and viable Palestinian state. From the day one during its term in the Security Council, Indonesia has pushed the Security Council to issue a statement concerning the Palestinian question, including issuing a Presidential Statement (PRST) or a resolution as a reflection of the Security Council's responsibility to maintain international peace and security.

As a continuation of its role in the UN Security Council, Indonesia, in its capacity as a member of the UN General Assembly, through the Non-Aligned Coordinating Bureau in New York, took on the role as one of the principle initiator for the Special Session of the UN General Assembly on Palestine from 15 to 16 January 2009. The session gave birth to the resolution that supports the implementation of UN Security Council's Resolution No.1860 (2009) and a plea to the international community to lend its hand to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip. Eventough Indonesia is currently not a member of the Security Council, Indonesia still actively voices its support to the Palestinian People through the Council's open debate forum and other meetings on Palestine.

Indonesia in its capacity as a member of the Human Rights Council also pushed for a Special Session of the Human Rights Council on January 9 and January 12, 2009. The outcome of the aforementioned session was the draft resolution on "the grave violation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory, particularly due to the recent Israeli military attacks against the occupied Gaza Strip".

At the Asia-Africa Conference on April 2015, Leader's agreed on the Declaration on palestine as one of the main achievement of the conference. The declaration underlines the support of Asia-African countries to the effort of the Palestinian People to gain their independence and to create a two-state solution side by side with Israels. The Conference also produce a new declaration to strengthen the New Asia Africa Strategic Partnership, in which re-emphasize the capacity support and assistance towards Palestine in 2019.

Indonesia hosted the International Conference on the Question of Jerusalem on 14-16 December 2015 in Jakarta. The conference was jointly convened with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the United Nations Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. The topic of Jerusalem was deliberately chosen since the issue of Jerusalem is on of the six outstanding core issues of the Palestine-Israel conflict and as response the increasing hostility in Jerusalem in 2015.

At the bilateral level, during the period of 2008-2013, Indonesia has initiated 128 technical assistance programs and have trained for 1,338 Palestinians. This Partnership has now been extended until 2019. In 2016, we are planning to provide further capacity building programs for Palestinian Police and Civil Servants.

Indonesian Positions

  • Supports two-state solution living side by side in peace based on international law and parameters set out under UN resolutions.
  • Stresses the importance of impartiality of the international community in resolving the Palestinian issue and pushing for the peace process.
  • Supporting the work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East to provide relief for Palestinian refugees, as well as increasing the involvement of the international community to assist the Palestinian refugees and the Palestinian children.
  • Indonesia is steadfastly commited to resolving the prolonged conflicts between Palestine and Israel.