Gaza Freedom March HUNGER STRIKE Video UPDATEx11
by MainStreet, Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 07:29:57 AM EST
27th December 2009
Members of the Viva Palestina international aid convoy to Gaza will begin a hunger strike at 11.25 am today (27 th) in protest at the Egyptian government's refusal to allow the convoy entry onto its soil.
Diplomatic negotiations are also taking place between the Turkish and Egyptian governments over the convoy's entry to Egypt. IHH, Turkey's main humanitarian aid agency, has 63 vehicles travelling on the convoy.
The Syrian government has also provided aid and vehicles, as has the government of Malaysia. More than 400 people from 17 countries are travelling on the 150 vehicle convoy, which is taking medical, humanitarian and educational aid to Gaza.
The convoy departed London on 6 December and have travelled nearly 3,000 miles across Europe and the Middle East. However, the convoy and its cargo of aid is now stopped in the Jordanian port town of Aqaba, having been denied entry into Egypt.
British MP, George Galloway , who is travelling with the convoy, said: 'Israel has kept Gaza under siege for three-and-half years against international law. It has not allowed aid or rebuilding materials in following its attack on Gaza earlier this year. Our convoy is determined to break the siege and take in urgently needed supplies Spirits are high in our camp in Aqaba, and we are going nowhere except to Gaza.'
It was at 11.25 am on December 27 2008, that Israel dropped its first bombs on the besieged population of Gaza. Three weeks later, following a sustained air, land and sea assault, more than 1,400 Palestinians had been killed.
The Viva Palestina hunger strikers will consume only liquids until the convoy is allowed entry into Egypt.
Convoy members will also mark the first anniversary of the beginning of Israel's Operation Cast Lead by holding a march through Aqaba, jointly with the Jordanians. In the evening, more than 1,400 candles will be lit for a vigil.
The convoy has been jointly organised by the charity Viva Palestina and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign , the UK's largest organisation campaigning for solidarity with the Palestinian people.
10th UPDATE: Latest Video from Aqaba, Jordan, Dec 27. Convoy remains stuck as Egypt does Israel's dirty work. No other news to report.
9th UPDATE: Latest Video from Aqaba, Jordan, Dec 26.
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.
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.
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 the massacre.
Additional UPDATES in the comments.