Hope Fleet – humanitarian aid held up once again

May 20, 2009

Just got a message from Port Said about the Free Gaza Hope Fleet

An activist said: “For three days now we have been waiting here in Port Said for the boat with its cargo of 12 fully equipped ambulances and 40 trucks loaded with medical supplies and special needs equipment. 

Part of the 120-member delegation has already left, brokenhearted, unable to enter Sinai, let alone Gaza, and others are due to return to Europe in the next few days.

But some have stayed on, among them Senator Fernando Rossi and 12 European Parliament members who joined us yesterday in Port Said. 

The ship is presently in Libya and should be arriving in Port Said at the end of the week—that is, if permitted by the Egyptian authorities, who have been playing a game of nerves with us since our arrival. 

Dr. Arafat Abu Madi, who is in charge of the convoy, wrote yesterday to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, asking him to put pressure on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to open all the border crossings immediately, to allow humanitarian aid and reconstruction material into the Gaza Strip.

 We really get the feeling we are unwelcome in Egypt. Yes, here in Egypt, when you mention the blockade of Gaza and the terrible predicament of the Palestinians–a situation in which Egypt is playing an active part–you bring the wrath of the authorities down upon you.

 So here we are, all in the same hotel, under surveillance from without and within. For now, we have cut off all contact with our Egyptian friends, for their own protection. 

In any case, by sending us to Port Said, the Egyptian authorities have deliberately separated us from the Egyptian activists, who are even now being subjected to harassment and even arrest. 

In the last four days, 56 activists have been arrested in Egypt for having participated in or having announced their intention to participate in the “Day of Anger”—organized demonstrations to protest the founding of the state of Israel”. (International Movement to Open Rafah Border)

I have today requested an urgent statement on this matter from our Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s