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Wednesday, 6 January 2010

URGENT: Viva Palestina faced with 2,000 riot police in the port of Al-Arish!

Egypt Threatens to Break Promise to Allow Viva Palestina Convoy into Gaza

I have just received this from Scottish PSC.

It would seem that having tricked the members of the convoy to taking a boat to the Syrian port of Latakia and then down to El Arish, the regime of Egyptian dictator Mubarak is now determined to prevent the convoy going in.

No doubt Israel and the United States have made their views known and their puppet Mubarak is seeking to put them into effect.

In the meantime the marchers themselves are in extreme danger as the post below describes:

Tony Greenstein

To all friends of Palestine,

Our situation is now at a crisis point!

Riot has broken out in the port of Al- Arish. This late afternoon we were negotiating with a senior official from Cairo who left negotiations some two hours ago and did not return. Our negotiations with the official was regarding taking our aid vehicles into Gaza. He left two hours ago and did not come back.

Egyptian authorities called over 2,000 riot police who then moved towards our camp at the port. We have now blocked the entrance to the port and we are now faced with riot police and water cannons and are determined to defend our vehicles and aid. The Egyptian authorities have by their stubbornness and hostility towards the convoy, brought us to a crisis point. We are now calling upon all friends of palestine to mount protests in person where possible, but by any means available to Egyptian representatives, consulates and Embassy's and demand that the convoy are allowed a safe passage into Gaza tomorrow!

Kevin Ovenden

Viva Palestina Convoy Leader

Contact your MPs + put pressure on Egyptian authorities
- Contact the Egyptian Embassy:

Egyptian Embassy (Diplomatic Mission)E-Mail: Tel.: 020 7499 3304 020 7499 3304
Egyptian Tourist OfficeTel.: 020 7493 5283 020 7493 5283
Egyptian Press and Information OfficeTel.: 020 7409 2236 020 7409 2236
- Contact our representatives & UK government:
Contact your MP:
David Miliband (Foreign Secretary/Labour MP for South Shields) (0191) 456 8910 (0191) 456 8910
British Embassy in EgyptTel: +(20)(2)27916000 +(20)(2)27916000
Gaza Freedom Marchers issue the "Cairo Declaration" to end Israeli Apartheid

On 1 January 2010 Gaza Freedom Marchers approved a declaration aimed at accelerating the global campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israeli Apartheid.
Roughly 1400 activists from 43 countries converged in Cairo on their way to Gaza to join with Palestinians marching to break Israel's illegal siege. They were prevented from entering Gaza by the Egyptian authorities.

As a result, the Freedom Marchers remained in Cairo. They staged a series of nonviolent actions aimed at pressuring the international community to end the siege as one step in the larger struggle to secure justice for Palestinians throughout historic Palestine.
This declaration arose from those actions: read the declaration

Scottish Government plan for 'trade mission' to Israel will shame Scotland
Last week Richard Falk, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, told UN Radio:

“Obviously Israel does not respond to language of diplomacy, which has encouraged the lifting of the blockade and so what I am suggesting is that it has to be reinforced by a threat of adverse economic consequences for Israel,”
Universal jurisdiction in the UK empowers judges to issue arrest warrants for nearly any visitor accused of committing war crimes anywhere in the world. A delegation of senior Israel Defense Forces officers recently canceled a planned visit to the U.K. for fear they would be arrested upon landing. The four unidentified officers, holding ranks from major to colonel, are the latest in a string of Israeli politicians and military officials forced to call off travel to Britain over fears of legal prosecution relating to last year's offensive on the Gaza Strip. read full story

Israel has extended the detention without charge of Palestinian human rights activist Jamal Juma'. At his latest court appearance on 4 January 'Jamal was able to address the crowd prior to the hearing, stating, "This case is not only about me. It is an attack on those that are standing up against the wall and the occupation."... He went to make two further statements to the judge highlighting the appalling conditions of detention. He stated that the detention conditions are below "human dignity", creating and deteriorating health problems of the detainees. He concluded pointing at his shackles and the orange uniform - "just like those they use in Guantanamo."'

Within this context, it is shameful that the Scottish Government is funding a "trade mission" to Israel.

Scottish PSC has written to Scotland's First Minister urging an immediate cancellation of the trip, which falls on the first anniversary of Israel's war of aggression against the people of Gaza - that will only serve to reward Israel for their continuing violations of Palestinian human rights and international law.

The visit is due to take place 10-15 January 2010. Whether you live in Scotland or not we ask you to add your voice to this urgent appeal - your actions will matter. Write to the Scottish government now:

- The Scottish GovernmentAlex Salmond, Scotland's First Minister: Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland's Deputy First Minister: Scottish Government Ministers:

- Your MSPSearch for your Members of the Scottish Parliament by postcode: will have 1 constituency MSP and around 7 Regional MSPs
Read Scottish PSC letter to Alex Salmond, First Minister for Scotland.

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