Friday, 25 December 2009
Contact your local Egyptian embassy
Egypt is making it very difficult for the Viva Palestina Convoy and Gaza Freedom March to enter Gaza.On Dec 24th the Egyptian Government approved the Viva Palestina Convoy's entry due to its goal of 'humanitarian assistance'. But the same day, as the 200+ vehicle Convoy arrived at the Jordanian port of Aqaba to catch the ferry to Nuweiba in Egypt, officials would not allow them to board the ferry. They are now being held at Aqaba.
Egypt's current position is: "no entry from Nuweiba. Entry can only be through El-Arish," – a 500+ mile detour through the Suez canal. Aqaba to Nuweiba is only 40 miles.
The already impoverished Gaza Strip has been under a complete Israeli siege, with full cooperation of Egypt, ever since the Hamas resistance movement, which does not recognize Israel as a sovereign state, won parliamentary elections in a surprise victory in 2007.Israel's three-week offensive against Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009 which left more than 1,400 Palestinians dead, including a large number of civilians, deteriorated the already dire situation.
The Israeli assault led to the destruction of schools, mosques, houses as well as UN compounds, inflicting $ 1.6 billion damage on the Gazan economy.
US visitors can email their Embassies directly from the GFM website.
We know this is having an effect because staff at the Washington DC Embassy have already complained about the volume of calls they are having to deal with.