[Chairperson of the House Committee for Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation Fadli Zon attends a meeting in Madrid, Spain. Photo: Dok/rni]


The humanitarian situation of the Palestinians living in the occupied territories has deteriorated. Reports from the United Nations and other independent agencies found that Palestine has suffered immensely from the prolonged crisis, which is further worsened by increasing tensions in East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip since May 2021, and by the current Covid-19 pandemic.


Therefore, Chairperson of the House Committee for Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation (BKSAP DPR RI), Fadli Zon, called on nations not to forget Palestine. “We are concerned that nations having to face urgent challenges such as climate change, democratic decline, and poverty will then set aside the issue on Palestine,” said Mr. Zon from Madrid, Spain, Sunday (28/11/2021).


In the 143rd Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), which was held in-person for the first time since the pandemic began and attended by 179 national parliaments and 13 regional parliaments, the BKSAP submitted an emergency item about the humanitarian crisis in Palestine. “The world owes the Palestinians for the independence taken away from them. So, we need more political supports towards the achievement of an independent state of Palestine,” he added.


The Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Party politician went on to say the global Covid-19 pandemic had severely affected the situation in Palestine. More than 150,000 people had contracted the coronavirus, with children and women being the most vulnerable groups. Restricted access to essential services such as education, health, nutrition, water, sanitation, and other social protection services further exacerbated the situation.


Palestinians, therefore, need continuous supports from the international community, he added. Through parliamentary diplomacy, the BKSAP continues to promote Palestinian’s vision for an independent, democratic, sovereign, and decent Palestine. The BKSAP also fosters global solidarity through its participation in inter-parliamentary forums.


In response to BKSAP’s emergency item, the regional geopolitical organizations of ASEAN+3, Asia Pacific, the Parliamentary Union of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Member States, and Asian parliament organizations have all showed their support. But, at the last minute before voting, the African parliamentary group put forward a new proposal on access and availability of the Covid-19 vaccine.


After lobbying, negotiation, and assessing the latest situation, Indonesia eventually decided to withdraw the proposed emergency item. One of the main considerations was the major situation amid the emergence of the Omicron coronavirus variant that is five times more transmissible than the previous variant. 


Despite the withdrawal, Indonesia will not stop focusing on the issue of Palestine. IPU member states need to show full commitment to the Palestinian people to gain their inalienable rights of self-determination and the establishment of an independent Palestine. The two-state solution remains the best option to achieve international and regional peace and security. The Palestinian issue will be re-submitted next year in the 144th Assembly of IPU in Bali, Indonesia. (bia/sf-mut)