GAZA ~~ HELP US OPEN THE GATES TO FREEDOM

Using the pretext of escalating tensions on the Gaza-Egypt border, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry informed us yesterday that the Rafah border will be closed over the coming weeks, into January. We responded that there is always tension at the border because of the siege, that we do not feel threatened, and that if there are any risks, they are risks we are willing to take. We also said that it was too late for over 1,300 delegates coming from over 42 countries to change their plans now.  We both agreed to continue our exchanges.

Although we consider this as a setback, it is something we’ve encountered-and overcome–before.  No delegation, large or small, that entered Gaza over the past 12 months has ever received a final OK before arriving at the Rafah border.  Most delegations were discouraged from even heading out of Cairo to Rafah.  Some had their buses stopped on the way. Some have been told outright that they could not go into Gaza. But after public and political pressure, the Egyptian government changed its position and let them pass.

Our efforts and plans will not be altered at this point. We have set out to break the siege of Gaza and march on December 31 against the Israeli blockade. We are continuing in the same direction.

Egyptian embassies and missions all over the world must hear from our supporters (by phone, fax and email)** over the coming crucial days, with a clear message: Let the international delegation enter Gaza and let the Gaza Freedom March proceed.


Contact your local consulate here:
http://www.mfa.gov.eg/MFA_Portal/en-GB/mfa_websits/


Contact the Palestine Division in Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cairo

Ahmed Azzam, tel +202-25749682 Email: ahmed.azzam@mfa.gov.eg

If you are in the U.S., contact the Egyptian Embassy, 202-895-5400 and ask for Omar Youssef or email omaryoussef@hotmail.com

You signed on to support the the Gaza Freedom March, that was the first step. Now call the Egyptian embassy and ask your elected official to call on your behalf. Then, hit the streets and join a solidarity action in your community: www.gazafreedommarch.org/solidarity

Thank you for being part of a global movement.

The Gaza Freedom March Steering Committee

* * Sample text

I am writing/calling to express my full support for the December 31, 2009 Gaza Freedom March. I urge the Egyptian government to allow the 1,300 international delegates to enter the Gaza Strip through Egypt.

The aim of the march is to call on Israel to lift the siege. The delegates will also take in badly needed medical aid, as well as school supplies and winter jackets for the children of Gaza.

Please, let this historic March proceed.

Thank you.
**********************
Update on situation…..


Egyptian Officials Say They Will Not Allow Gaza Freedom March To Cross Border

Saed Bannoura

22_gaza_freedom_march.jpg
Gaza Freedom March logo

IMEMC News – December 22, 2009

The 1,360 peace activists from around the world currently on their way to Egypt will find the border to the Gaza Strip closed to them, say Egyptian officials.

The Gaza Freedom March Steering Committee said Monday that the Egyptian Foreign Ministry informed them that the Rafah border will be closed over the coming weeks, into January, citing escalating tensions on the Gaza-Egypt border. The Ministry did not give details, but the ‘escalating tension’ is likely a reference to a Palestinian attack on an Egyptian border guard several days ago.

March participants told the Egyptian authorities that they understood the risks involved in the aid caravan, and were willing to take the risk.

According to the organizers, “Although we consider this as a setback, it is something we’ve encountered—and overcome–before. No delegation, large or small, that has entered Gaza over the past 12 months has received a final OK before arriving at the Rafah border. Most delegations were discouraged from even heading out of Cairo to Rafah. Some had their buses stopped on the way. Some have been told outright that they could not go into Gaza. But after public and political pressure, the Egyptian government changed its position and let them pass.”

The group has been organizing for months to break the siege on Gaza on the one-year anniversary of the Israeli invasion of Gaza which claimed over 1400 Palestinian lives (4 Israeli soldiers were killed by Palestinians during the Israeli assault).

Organizers have called on their supporters to phone, fax and email Egyptian embassies and missions all over the world to put pressure on the Egyptian government to let the international delegation enter Gaza and let the Gaza Freedom March proceed.

Many delegates are already in Cairo and more are arriving daily. The Gaza Freedom March was organized to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza caused by the Israeli attack on Gaza a year ago and by the international siege on Gaza.

They hope to bring publicity and international attention to the plight of the 1.5 million people imprisoned in Gaza.

Via Uruknet

2 Comments

  1. hans said,

    December 22, 2009 at 08:53

    You see what I mean, sort out your so called “Arab Brethren”, these leaders you’ll keep electing only like the look of their silver lined pockets. First things first get some interest for your cause on the “Arab Street” then tackle the Zionist crazies. And no I am not lost as somebody described me, I have been involved with the Palestinian struggle for the last 28 years! Will the “Angry Arab” ever go to live in the Gaza Strip, I doubt so

  2. Truthteller said,

    December 23, 2009 at 15:31

    Shame on you leaders of Egypt. You are now complicit in the proven Israeli genocide of your muslim brothers and sisters in Gaza. Shame on you leaders of other Arab nations for keeping silent in the face of this monstrous injustice. Your god is not Allah. It is money. You have this in common with the persecutors of the Gazans. You are enemies of Islam and you will all be condemned to Jahannam, according to your Holy Book.


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