he aid convoy, stranded in Aqaba, Jordan, for five days, on its way to the Gaza Strip, turns back to Syria after Cairo’s refusal to let it cross through its territory.
Members of the convoy, led by British MP George Galloway, were hoping to reach a solution through Turkish mediation and enter Gaza through the Red Sea port of Nuweiba, the most direct route.
“After talks between the Turkish government’s envoy and the Egyptian consulate in Aqaba, we agreed to go to Syria,” Zaher Birawi, spokesman for the convoy, told Agence France-Presse.
“We have told the Egyptians that we were not trying to challenge them and urged them to help us, but they refused,” Birawi said. [continued…]
Editor’s Comment — Today’s Zaman says: “Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he supports the convoy and urged Egypt to allow the Turkish deputies to enter.” And the Viva Palestina Twitter feed adds: “Seems Turkish pressure means convoy will move to Syria (maybe on the road tonight) and Turkey will fund a chartered ship from Syria for ALL.”
Hedy Epstein, the 85 year old Holocaust survivor and peace activist, announced that she will begin a hunger strike today as a response to the Egyptian government’s refusal to allow the Gaza Freedom March participants into Gaza.
Ms. Epstein was part of a delegation with participants from 43 countries that were to join Palestinians in a non-violent march from Northern Gaza towards the Erez border with Israel calling for the end of the illegal siege. Egypt is preventing the marchers from leaving Cairo, forcing them to search for alternative ways to make their voices heard.
Ms. Epstein will remain outside the UN building at the World Trade Center (Cairo) – 1191 Cornish al-Nil, throughout today, accompanied by other hunger strikers. “It is important to let the besieged Gazan people know they are not alone. I want to tell the people I meet in Gaza that I am a representative of many people in my city and in other places in the US who are outraged at what the US, Israeli and European governments are doing to the Palestinians and that our numbers are growing,” Epstein said. [continued…]
(Photo credit: Ali Abunimah)
Yesterday we joined the people of Gaza, the people of all of Palestine, and allies around the world in remembering the anniversary of the inhuman and illegal Israeli attacks that stole the lives of more than 1,400 mothers, fathers, daughters, and sons last December and January. And, in a manner far too appropriately suited to remembering an unfathomably vicious massacre and the preposterous silence of the American and Egyptian governments, we freedom marched in circles throughout the streets of Cairo.
The Egyptian government has revoked the contracts for the buses that would take us one step closer on our journey to Gaza and has forbidden us from leaving Cairo. Military police have torn down our small hand-written cards tied to the Kasr al Nil Bridge, following the Israelis’ lead in trying to disappear the names and numbers of Gaza’s martyrs. Candles meant to float along the Nile in remembrance are still in their boxes, their hundreds of distributors never permitted to board the feluccas (river boats) waiting just beyond overwhelming security forces. We regroup, circle again, and find another path to remembering and reminding, another way through the many checkpoints and the impossible border ahead. [continued…]
One year after the Zionist entity’s savage assault on the besieged refugee population of the Gaza Strip, a group of 16 international human rights and aid groups released a report documenting the wretched conditions under which the people of Gaza are inexplicably left to suffer.
We hear much of this suffering, but all too often it’s just an afterthought in the heat of political discussion. And for those who have never gone through such conditions, it will be impossible to understand the comprehensive breadth of the restrictions placed upon every facet of daily life in Gaza.
I hardly ever read these reports in full, usually just perusing the conclusions, but reading the detailed facts and figures mentioned in this one (entitled ‘Failing Gaza: No rebuilding, no recovery, no more excuses‘) really drives home the extent of the oppression. [continued…]
Despite the fact that a year has passed since the start of the Gaza military operation, the damage caused by three weeks of war and the near total closure preceding it has yet to be repaired. The reason: Israel’s ongoing policy blocking goods from entering the Gaza Strip, including a near total ban on reconstruction materials. [continued…]