"The mission is to be carried out in March 2012. With its starting point in India, the caravan will pass through Jordan, the Allenby Bridge linking Jordan and the West Bank, then Palestine before reaching Jerusalem," Dr Sarbini Abdul Murad, chairman of the MER-C Indonesia presidium said here Saturday.
He said he had attended the 5th International Conference for Support for Palestine in Tehran last October 1-2 at the invitation of the Parliament of Iran.
MER-C Indonesia was one of a few NGOs which attended the conference for the liberation of Palestine. The event was attended by senior officials, parliamentarians and community leaders from at least 44 countries, including Indonesia.
Dr Sarbini noted that between late 2010 and early 2011, a similar caravan was organized but it only went as far as the Gaza Strip.
This time, as a form of support for Palestinian independence, the overland caravan's final destination would be Jerusalem.
The objective of the caravan was to demonstrate support for Palestinian independence and recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine, Sarbini said.
The caravan would be participated in by humanitarian and peace activists as well as inter-religious elements from various countries.
"The caravan this time will hold out greater risks but it is very challenging to people who love peace and humanity," Sarbini said.
In the previous overland mission dubbed Asia to Gaza Solidarity Caravan, Indonesia was represented by 12 MER-C volunteers.
Because the ultimate target was to open the Gaza blockade, the caravan's route went through India, Iran, Turkey. Syria and included a sea trip from Latakia port to Al-Arish Port in Egypt.
The caravan then proceeded overland to Gaza. Although it experienced delays from the original schedule, the caravan finally reached the Gaza Strip safely.
Sarbini said Indonesia was participating in the Global March to Jerusalem caravan because it was to be staged to support Palestinian independence. It was also an reciprocal act towards Palestine which was one of the first countries that recognized Indonesian independence in 1945.
In addition, MER-C was currently engaged in work to set up a hospital in the Gaza Strip with funds donated by Indonesia.
The location of the Indonesian hospital precisely in Bayt Lahiya Northern Gaza. A total of six volunteers had served nearly a year in Gaza to directly oversee the development of the Indonesian hospital which was now 42.5 percent completed.
Dr Sarbini added MER-C had a mission of building the Indonesia Hospital in Gaza. MER-C started its mission by sending a humanitarian team which brought medicine from Indonesians for the Palestinians at the end of 2008 to early 2009.
At the time the team was led by Dr Rustam S Pakaya who served as Head of Crisis Management (PPK) of the health ministry and the Director of Middle Eastern Affairs of foreign affairs ministry Aidil Chandra Salim.(*)