Gaza Freedom March delayed by Egypt

On December 6 (not 5 as indicated above), a large convoy that would eventually swell to 144 vehicles and 416 peace activists left London as part of the third Viva Palestina effort to break the siege of Gaza. Viva Palestina is a British organization started by the British MP, George Galloway, and on this expedition, over 1,300 activists from 42 countries including the United States (23 activists are en route from San Francisco alone) are expected to meet up at the Rafah crossing and enter Gaza on December 27 to mark the anniversary of Israel's massacre of over 1,400 Palestinians including more than 300 children a year ago.

Two more members of the Malaysian Perdana Global Peace Organisation, PGPO and four Bernama TV crew join the `Viva Palestina Convoy' in Damascus, Syria.

On its way overland through Europe, then Turkey and Syria, the convoy reached Aqaba, Jordan on the Red Sea where it was stalled by the Egyptian authorities. Egypt first contended that the convoy would not be permitted to enter Gaza, then indicated that it could only enter Egypt through El-Arish on the Meditteranian, which would necessitate a voyage around the Sinai Pennisula through the Suez Canal.

This latest email from Alice Howard of Viva Palestina updates the current situation:

Egypt blamed for Gaza convoy delay

British politician George Galloway has criticised Egypt for denying a humanitarian aid convoy permission to enter the Gaza Strip.

The Viva Palestina aid convoy, containing some 210 vehicles and 500 people, is currently stranded in Jordan with Cairo refusing to allow it passage to Gaza through the Red Sea port of Nuweiba.

The lorries are laden with European, Turkish and Arab aid - both food and medical supplies.

"It's a strange Christmas for us. We are stuck ... hundreds of tonnes of aid which is desperately needed in Gaza," Galloway said in an interview with Press TV on Friday.

"We are very sad not yet angry, but we will get angry if the days go by".

But Hossam Zaki, an Egyptian port official, insisted that there would be "no entry from Nuweiba", saying "entry can only be through El-Arish".

El-Arish is a port on Egypt's Mediterreanean coast, while Nuweiba is on the Red Sea.


According to the latest UN report on the situation in Gaza, the ongoing Israeli blockade has triggered a "protracted human dignity crisis" with negative humanitarian consequences.

"At the heart of this crisis is the degradation in the living conditions of the population, caused by the erosion of livelihoods and the gradual decline in the state of infrastructure, and the quality of vital services in the areas of health, water and sanitation, and education," adds the report.

This video makes clear Egypt's insincerity and intent to obstruct this humanitarian aid getting into Gaza.

Viva Palestina Convoy Blocked from Entering Egypt

It is notable that the American press has ignored this story and is continuing to maintain a posture of censoring news which places Israel in a bad light and Gaza is one source. On Gaza per se, only news in which Hamas is depicted as a Islamic terrorist group seems to get aired. Although the convoy originated in Britain, the BBC is also not covering the event.

Stay tuned.

Tags: Gaza, Gaza Freedom March, George Galloway, Israel, Palestine, Viva Palestina (all tags)



Re: Gaza Freedom March delayed by Egypt

We, Americans, remain as culpable as Israel for the Gaza massacre.

White phosphorus remains in civilian areas of Gaza

Israeli army 'using white phosphorus' - 12 Jan 08

"This is the first time we seen this type of weapon," said a Palestinian. Well, that because it came from America as did the DIME munitions that Israel lobbed in civilian areas, and for that matter, most of the military weapons used in thia massacre.

by MainStreet 2009-12-26 04:33AM | 0 recs
Gaza Freedom March delayed by Egypt: UPDATE

This latest update from Aqaba:

Galloway speaking:

"Please President Mubarak - let us resolve this matter. We can only sail through Nuweiba. We are only four hours away from Gaza," Galloway told Al Jazeera.

"We have this aid, and the people of Gaza need it on the anniversary on the 27th December  - a year after Israel's 22-day bombardment of the beseiged Palestinian territory.

"All fingers should be pointing at Israel, not getting confused and pointing at Egypt", Galloway said.

'Infiltration worry'

But Maged Botros, a member of Egypt's ruling National Democratic Party, told Al Jazeera that the government in Cairo has every right to specify the port by which Viva Palestina enters its territory.

"We are talking about 250 trucks passing along this critical territory [the Israeli-Egyptian border]  - it is technically so difficult to allow.

"There are good reasons not to allow them through Nuweiba ... these trucks might create a big infiltration problem for Egyptian security forces", he said.

But convoy members told Al Jazeera that travelling through the Suez was not a viable option, as passengers are not allowed to go with cargo ships and that the port of El-Arish is too shallow to take the size of ship needed to transport the aid.

Quite a line of bullshit, isn't it?

by MainStreet 2009-12-26 05:55AM | 0 recs


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