Press Release from VIVA PALESTINA
Egyptian Police attack Humanitarian Gaza Aid Convoy
Last night Egyptian police again delayed the Viva Palestina aid convoy carrying much needed aid from reaching the people of Gaza. Having agreed to Egyptian demands whilst being stranded in the port of Aqaba some seven days ago, convoy leaders agreed to re-route their journey after receiving guarantees from the Egyptian authorities of a safe passage to Gaza.
Humanitarians from all over the world transporting the aid were attacked by riot police in the port of Al-Arish last night (5th January). And it is now reported that some of the activists were hospitalised overnight for their injuries. They have since returned back to re-join the convoy members in the port and thankfully have no life threatening issues.
British and national embassies are being kept informed of the situation.
Protests broke out when Egyptian authorities at Al – Arish ordered some lorries to use an Israeli-controlled checkpoint. The activists preferred the goods to be transported via Egypt’s Rafah crossing as agreed.
George Galloway who is leading the convoy said Israel is likely to prevent it entering Gaza – This morning he told Sky News. “It is completely unconscionable that 25% of our convoy should go to Israel and never arrive in Gaza.”
Following Israel’s horrific attack on Gaza, people all over Britain worked for months raising funds for aid and aid vehicles for the Palestinian people. Those taking the aid are humanitarians from all walks of life, who have given up a month to bring the much needed medical aid in a gesture of solidarity with their continuing oppression under Israel’s illegal siege.
Betty Hunter, General Secretary of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign said, “It is shocking that the Egyptian government is behaving in this way. There can be no justification for preventing this aid and the people who have worked so hard to provide it from reaching Gaza. The Palestinians are waiting for this well publicised international convoy to arrive and these actions of the Egyptian government, and the building of Egypt’s steel wall signal that Egypt is colluding with the Israeli government’s illegal siege of Gaza.”
Viva Palestina ‘The Return to Gaza’ is partnered with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and departed London on 6th December bound for Gaza.
For further information on the Viva Palestina convoy visit www.vivapalestina.org
Press information from Alice Howard on Tel:07944 512 469 or viva email: firstname.lastname@example.org