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July 11,2010

Indonesian Medical Volunteers Gain Permit to Enter Gaza

Bogor, West Java. Five volunteers of Indonesia's Medical Emergency Rescue 
Committee (MER-C) have obtained a permit from the Egyptian government to enter 
the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border gate, the organization's presidium 
chief said.

"God willing, the volunteers will leave for Cairo at midnight on Monday and 
later proceed on their journey to the Gaza Strip," Dr Sarbini Abdul Murad said 
on Sunday morning.

He thanked Indonesian Ambassador to Egypt Abdurrahman Mohammad Fachir for his 
help in obtaining the permit.

"I think [the permit] is the fruit of the maximum struggle of the Indonesian 
ambassador in Cairo who managed to lobby the Egyptian authorities," he said.

He said the five volunteers are Dr Joserizal Jurnalis, Ir Faried Thalib, Dr 
Arief Rachman, Nur Ikhwan Abadi and Abdillah Onim.

Arief, Nur and Abdillah took part in the "Flotilla to Gaza" mission aboard the 
Turkish aid ship Mavi Marmara. 

The Mavi Marmara, one of six ships, was attempting to ferry relief supplies to 
the Gaza Strip when it was attacked by the Israeli navy in international waters 
on May 31.

At least nine activists were killed while a number of others, including 
Indonesians, sustained gunshot wounds in the attack.

The bloody incident has since sparked rallies in many parts of the world.

In Europe, thousands of people staged rallies to protest against the Israeli 
brutal attack on the convoy of six ships carrying more than 10,000 tons of 
relief and developmental aid to Gaza, along with roughly 700 participants from 
more than 30 countries.

However, the rallies failed to press Israel to open its sea blockade as the 
Israeli troops again detained MV Rachel Corrie which sailed in the waters on 
the same mission. 

Sarbini Abdul Murad said the five MER-C volunteers would be assigned to follow 
up on the plan to build an Indonesian hospital in Gaza.

He said the hospital, to be built on 1.4 hectares of land in Bayt Lahiya, North 
Gaza, would serve as a trauma and rehabilitation center. 


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