Subject: [firstname.lastname@example.org] Viva Palestina are faced with 2,000 riot police in the port of Al-Arish !
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
From: "Alice Howard"
Date: Tue, 5 Jan 2010 20:04:54 -0000
CAROLINE LUCAS' Statement
06 January 2010
Caroline Lucas said ‘I am deeply concerned by the news that the Viva Palestina humanitarian aid convoy has come under attack from the Egyptian security forces while being held up in the port of Al-Arish. Reports have been coming through from the convoy of numerous injuries and some arrests.
‘The convoy of aid vehicles set off in December to break to current blockade of Gaza and deliver much needed humanitarian aid to its imprisoned population. Since reaching Egypt the convoy has had numerous obstacles and diversions put in its way by the Egyptian authorities.'
The Viva Palestina/ Palestine Solidarity Convoy of 210 aid vehicles is carrying medical supplies, food and educational materials. The Egyptian government has now made it impossible for all the vehicles to enter Gaza through the Rafah Crossing. They are instead requiring that some of the vehicles pass from Egypt to Israel, and then from Israel into Gaza via an Israeli-controlled checkpoint. There is no guarantee that Israel will let them through to the Gaza strip (1).
Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur stated last month that 'two urgent priorities must be stressed on this dismal anniversary: first, Israel 's allies must demand, with a commitment reinforced by a credible threat of economic sanctions, that Israel immediately end its illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip. Second, the Goldstone Report's recommendations, having confirmed the commission of war crimes possibly amounting to Crimes Against Humanity, by Israel and Hamas, must be fully and swiftly implemented.' (2).
Read more about the convoy at http://vivapalestina.org