Indonesian Hospital opens in Gaza

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SHAFAQNA- A hospital in the Gaza Strip funded entirely by donations from Indonesians has opened its doors on Sunday.

The workers said on Tuesday that Rumah Sakit Indonesia began operating nearly five years after the idea was conceived by the Indonesian NGO Medical Emergency Rescue Committee (Mer-C).

The facility can accommodate 100 people in its general inpatient ward and 10 in its intensive care unit. The hospital has served more than 500 outpatients in its first three days of operation, according to Gheiz Chalifah, a Mer-C official.

The hospital sits on a 1.6-hectare lot in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, some three kilometers from the Israeli border. Gheiz said that the hospital cost $8.7 million to build, with the money coming entirely from donations from the Indonesian people.

“It’s more than just a hospital, it’s a symbol of the emotional ties between the people of Indonesia and Palestine”, said Sarbini Abdul Murad, another Mer-C official.

Support for Palestinian independence has long been a key stance of Indonesia’s foreign policy, with the issue playing a prominent role earlier this year at the high-profile commemorative Asia-Africa Conference in Bandung.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has also repeatedly called for an independent Palestine.

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