Security


Indonesia: Volunteers offer to fight against Israel




Jakarta, 5 Jan. (AKI) – More than 4,000 Indonesians have offered to support Hamas and fight against Israel, a radical Islamist group has told Adnkronos International (AKI). The Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) has been mobilising jihadists to support the ruling Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip against the current Israeli offensive.

"We started the list last Friday and more than 4,000 people registered to go and fight Israel," Sobry Lubis, secretary-general of the FPI told AKI.

Sobry said the FPI wanted to send only a thousand jihadists and the group was considering the background of the volunteers. Among the criteria is a willingness to die as a martyr.

"We have a list of ten points that volunteers must endorse for them to be considered. One of the obligations is a willingness to be a martyr." 

Sobry did not provide details about finance for the mission, possible departure dates or the group's itinerary.

The FPI is one of several Indonesian groups to have drawn up a recruitment list. Analysts have expressed doubts suggesting that several groups had sought to do something similar in the past but there was no proof that Indonesians had fought in the Middle East. 

Nevertheless, many in Indonesia - the world's largest Muslim country - feel strongly about the Palestinian issue. Thousands of people have protested in major cities throughout the archipelago against Israel's offensive over the past ten days. 

Jakarta has no diplomatic relations with Israel and the Indonesian government has promised 2 million dollars in humanitarian aid. The Indonesian military has also said it is ready to send troops to Gaza if the United Nations requested members to take part in a peace mission.

An Indonesian humanitarian contingent arrived in Egypt on Monday in a bid to organise a medical aid centre on the border with Gaza.

The FPI is a hardline Islamic group known for conducting annual raids targeting night clubs, bars and venues that failed to observe the holy month of Ramadan.




 

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