International Campaign in Support of the Gaza Freedom March
If you want to know what the obstacles are to both Palestinian and Arab national and social liberation, then the vile regime of Mubarak in Egypt is as good an example as it gets. It is a vicious dictatorship, the second largest recipient of US aid (after Israel) and it has of course made ‘peace’ with Israel. A peace that means it is a co-partner in the starvation siege and blockade of Gaza.
As will also be noticed, none are more silent than the quisling regime of Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah. And why not? His regime, if it can be so dignified, is equally desiring of removing Hamas from Gaza and imposing its own dictatorship there, as it has done on the West Bank.
The Mubarak regime is therefore preventing the Viva Palestina from sailing from the Jordanian port of Aqaba to Egypt with the excuse that they have to sail to El Arish and then head to El Arish and from there drive to Gaza. Mubarak, in all his colours, is a good example of the typical Arab leader, a collaborator to his roots. It is the tragedy of the Palestinian leadership that they have sought to work these creatures and in turn have been bought off.
No Christmas Cheer from Egyptian Authorities
The Egyptian government has denied entry to the Viva Palestina Aid Convoy carrying medical and humanitarian aid to Gaza.
Hundreds of tonnes of aid, including specialised medical equipment and powdered milk for babies, is now stockpiled in the Jordanian port town of Aqaba waiting for permission to enter Egypt via the Straits of Aqaba.
The international convoy of approximately 150 vehicles and more than 400 people from 17 countries was given the news by the Egyptian Consulate in Aqaba late on Christmas Eve.
British MP George Galloway, who is travelling with the convoy, said “We feel very sad that Egypt has turned us away on Christmas Day, but we hope they will reconsider. This is a very determined convoy and we're not going anywhere except to Gaza.”
The convoy, jointly organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign in the UK, left London on 6th December. It has enjoyed safe passage through Europe, Turkey, Syria and Jordan on its way to Gaza.
It hopes to enter Gaza and break Israel's three and a half year illegal blockade of the Strip via the Rafah border crossing with Egypt on 27th December.
The date marks the first anniversary of the beginning of Israel's three week land, air and sea assault on Gaza, which killed more than 1400 Palestinians.
Galloway to Cairo: Open gates for Viva Palestina
Thu, 24 Dec 2009
British Lawmaker George Galloway has appealed to Cairo to allow the Viva Palestina humanitarian aid convoy he is accompanying to enter the blockaded Gaza Strip.
The call comes as activists on Viva Palestina faced problems as the convoy was making its way to the Jordanian capital, Amman.
The aid shipment, which originally departed from London on December 3 with the aim of breaking the months-long Israeli siege on Gaza, was prevented by Jordanian police from entering Amman, where it was scheduled to hold rallies.
Instead, dozens of the convoy's vehicles formed a rolling road block on the main highway to the city and shut down traffic in a move the organizers called a peaceful protest.
After an hour of grid blocked traffic, the police had to back off and promise to allow the pro-Gazan team into the capital city amid unexpected gestures of support from Jordanian drivers stuck in the traffic jam.
In Amman, the founder of Viva Palestina George Galloway thanked Jordanian authorities for finally facilitating the convoy's entry into Amman and appealed to the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to also open the way for Viva Palestina.
"I ask him on behalf of our convoy, on behalf of all the people around the world, whose hearts are bleeding, whose eyes are weeping for Palestine to please open your gates for us and allow us to proceed through the gates of Rafah to besieged Palestine," he urged.
The convoy is scheduled to spend two days in Jordan before moving to the Red Sea port of Aqaba where it hopes to take a ferry into Egypt, hopefully, crossing into Gaza.
If nothing intercedes, Viva Palestina is to cross into Gaza on December 27 to mark the first anniversary of the Israeli offensive against the blockaded enclave, but this will not happen if authorities in Cairo refuse to allow the convoy ashore.
Lifeline 3, the third international convoy headed to Gaza under the name Viva Palestina, comprises 210 trucks laden with basic food items and medical supplies
450 activists, including 30 Americans, 150 Turks and a number of Europeans are accompanying the convoy.
Letter in The Guardian
Thank you for the article about the children in Gaza. I am sorry, however, that, along with the rest of the UK national media, you have given no coverage to the convoy of about 80 UK vehicles that is currently travelling across Turkey, along with over 100 other vehicles, to take humanitarian goods to the people of Gaza. I have helped to raise funds for the York ambulance and, as a retired teacher, I have made sure that as well as medical supplies the ambulance has paper, pencils and crayons for the children of Gaza to help them express their feelings, so well explained in your article. For many years I worked with refugee children in east London and now I support asylum seeking families in Yorkshire. These children in the UK are often traumatised enough. How much worse for the children in Gaza?
Janice Gupta Gwilliam, Norton, North Yorkshire
Irish Humanitarian Delegation Travelling To Gaza
On December 27 th , the 1st anniversary of the attacks on Gaza, a Humanitarian Delegation from Ireland will attempt to cross through the Rafah Border and deliver humanitarian aid to the stricken region.
See a Youtube video of the Appeal to the Egyptian authorities to let the convoy proceed.
A massive mobilization between December 27, 2009 and January 1, 2010 with candlelight vigils, concerts, marches, demonstrations, art installations and movie screenings will assemble all over the world to send a clear message to world leaders: end the siege on Gaza.
To tackle the blockade against Gaza, grassroots activists are moving quickly and acting in unison for an absolutely crucial time. Dec. 27 will mark one year since the Israeli attack and invasion of the Gaza Strip. Although the Israeli tanks have left, the complete closure of the borders continues.
In order to unite the public to influence public leaders behind the Gaza Freedom March goals, solidarity action organizers harnessed the power of the internet to coordinate a global week of actions. There will be actions at many places around the world: France, United Kingdom, Turkey, Ireland, Germany, Spain, United States, Afghanistan, Australia, Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden, Jordan, Canada, Israel/Palestine, Poland, Denmark, and Greece.
On December 31, 2009, more than 1,400 citizens from across the world will travel to Cairo to join the Gaza Freedom March. This historic non-violent action has been organized by The International Coalition to End the Illegal Siege of Gaza. Its objective is to draw international attention to the siege and blockade of Gaza which are illegal under international law.
According to the United Nations, the most recent invasion left 1,400 Palestinian civilians dead, thousands injured and hundreds of thousands homeless, many of whom still live in tents. Many more are living in the ruins of their houses or with relatives. It is now one year later, and no progress has been made. In fact the situation is more dire than ever. Hospitals lack many medicines and supplies to provide even routine medical care. Building materials so desperately needed after the last winter’s invasion by Israel are not permitted into Gaza.
Israel’s blockade of Gaza is a flagrant violation of international law that has led to mass suffering. The U.S., Egypt and the rest of the international community are complicit. The law is clear. The conscience of humankind is shocked. Yet, the siege of Gaza continues.
For more information about the Gaza Freedom March global actions visit:
Gaza Freedom March - Worldwide Solidarity Actions December 27th and 31st, 2009