Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi. (AP/Achmad Ibrahim) (AP/Achmad Ibrahim)
Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsud

Asserting its sovereignty and national pride, Israel is denying passage through its country to a hostile Indonesian foreign minister.

Israel has denied Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi access to the Palestinian Authority (PA) via Israel over her refusal to visit Israeli officials and Jerusalem as well.

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs says Israel prevented the Indonesian foreign minister from entering the PA to meet with Palestinian officials.

A Sunday statement said that Marsudi was supposed to meet with PA head Mahmoud Abbas and Foreign Minister Riyad Malki. The ministry said Malki instead traveled to neighboring Jordan to meet Marsudi there.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon refused to comment on the issue.

Israeli media reported Marsudi was denied access to the PA because she wasn’t going to meet Israeli officials.

According to reports, Marsudi was to inaugurate an Indonesian consulate in the PA.

Israel’s Haaretz daily reported that Israel’s move is a departure from a previous policy regarding visits by foreign officials to the PA. Israel’s previous policy was not to allow foreign ministers from Western states or countries with which it has diplomatic relations to enter the PA without also visiting Israel. In November 2014, for example, Israel prevented the Colombian foreign minister from visiting Ramallah.

However, Israel did allow foreign ministers from Arab and Muslim countries to travel to Ramallah even if they refused to visit Jerusalem. The decision regarding the Indonesian foreign minister sets a precedent.

Israel does not have formal diplomatic relations with Indonesia, the most populous Muslim nation, which has exhibited repeated hostility towards the Jewish State.

Just this month, Indonesia‘s president urged a summit of Muslim nations, which Abbas attended, to unite against Israel and to be part of the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as he termed it, rather than part of the problem.

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said the entire world is concerned by the deterioration of the situation in “Palestine” and criticized what he called Israel’s “unilateral and illegal policies.”

Last summer, the Muslim country hosted the world badminton championships and refused to admit an Israeli player, until the Badminton World Federation (BWF) intervened and forced the country to enable the Israeli sportsman to attend the games.

By: AP and United with Israel Staff