Indonesia sends hospital ship to Gaza

Prabowo Subianto, Defense Minister of Indonesia, said that they don’t expect attacks from Houthi rebels in the sea, as they both support Palestine.

A hospital ship carrying humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza left Indonesia on Thursday.

The KRI dr. Radjiman Wedyodiningrat (992) is a hospital aid ship that will only deliver relief supplies to Gaza, and not operate as a floating or field hospital at this stage.

Indonesia’s Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto said that the mission was challenging because the ship had to navigate through perilous waters, but assured that his ministry had made the necessary arrangements with the concerned parties. He also said that Indonesia, as a supporter of Palestine, did not expect any hostility from the group in Yemen [Houthi rebels], or from other countries that recognized Indonesia’s nonaligned stance.

The ship is expected to reach Al-Arish Port in the northeast of Egypt, where it will stay for about four days to hand over the aid to the Egyptian Red Crescent, which will then transport it to Gaza. The aid consists of 200 tons of food, medicine, tents and clean water.

Bagus Hendraning Kobarsih, the Middle East Director of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, said that Indonesia was still in contact with the relevant parties to obtain a permit for setting up a field hospital or running a hospital auxiliary ship.

“We are in discussions with the Egyptian authorities to get the permit. I think it will take some time because the situation on the ground is not favorable yet,” Bagus said.

The KRI dr. Radjiman Wedyodiningrat 992 is the third hospital ship of Indonesia. It is equipped with facilities for minor and major medical operations, such as brain surgery, neurosurgery, eye surgery, and dental check-ups, as well as a psychiatric clinic.

The ship also has supporting medical equipment, such as CT scanners and panoramic X-ray machines, as well as laboratories. The ship has an emergency room and an isolation room and can accommodate up to 150 patients.

The ship has a staff of around 16, including two general practitioners and other health workers, such as pharmacists and nurses. However, the team can be adjusted for humanitarian missions outside Indonesia.

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