Peace camp established at the Rafah border

June 13, 2009

International Community Activists established a peace and protest Camp at the Rafah Border today.

The International Movement to Open the Rafah Border has established the long foreseen encampment at the Rafah gate. The group consists of David Mattacchioni, Italy; Christian Chantegrel, Portugal; Micheline Garreau, Jacque Denko, Laila Mami France; Paki Wieland, Ellen Graves, and Don Bryant,USA and two Egyptian journalists, man Badawi and Nada Kassass.

These international activists have attempted to enter Gaza since the morning of June 9, but have been denied. Tonight they have proved their determination by refusing, through a day-long “strong and tender” negotiation to leave the Rafah Gate, when Border Security kept telling them they MUST leave the area.

The goal of the International Movement to Open the Rafah Border (INTMORB) is not only to enter Gaza, and maintain a presence at the border, but to demand to lift the extended siege. A spokesperson said:

“Since our June 9 demonstration at the Rafah Gate, we have been deterred at every turn by Egyptian security, but we have not lost courage.” explained IMORB spokesperson, Paki Wieland.

 “We were told that if we leave tonight we could return tomorrow. But our mission is to lift the siege and there is no turning back. We represent hundreds of thousands of people from around the world that support the Palestinian resistance and demand an end to the siege and justice for all of Palestine.

“To retreat now is to accept the inhumane, illegal siege of Gaza,” said Christian Chantegrel.

Text and phone messages of support have been coming in from around the world, including from Palestine. The border security has relented for now, at 10 p.m. Paki said, “we are winning the day, but the struggle is far from over to end the siege so join us at the Rafah Border and pressure your governments.”

The INTMORB insists on the urgency of their actions to open the border because the Israeli Defense Minister has called for ” a new, large-scale war on the Gaza Strip.”

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