Gaza Freedom March update – Egypt wavers but says border will be open
Government of Egypt changes policy to allow humanitarian group Viva Palestina to enter Gaza December 27, 2009
Gaza Freedom March congratulates the Government of Egypt on its change of policy to allow international missions into Gaza during December with the decision to allow the Viva Palestina convoy to go into Gaza on December 27, 2009.
Organizers of Gaza Freedom March were told on December 20, 2009 by Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials that no international missions would be allowed to enter Gaza during December, including the Gaza Freedom March, because of serious security conditions at the border.
Today, December 23, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson told Gaza Freedom March organizers that the decision had been made to alter its policy because of the “humanitarian assistance” nature of Viva Palestina.
Since the Gaza Freedom March is also bringing in humanitarian assistance items valued at tens of thousands of dollars and the border is now considered safe, Gaza Freedom March will make a formal request to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on December 24, that that Government of Egypt reconsider the request of the Gaza Freedom March for entry of its 1360 delegates from 42 countries into Gaza through the Rafah crossing on December 27.
Marchers and their friends have been flooding Egyptian embassies throughout the world with calls and emails. Embassies throughout Europe, the United States and Canada have told callers that they have been flooded with telephone calls from persons asking that the Gaza Freedom March be allowed into Gaza. Members of the Canadian, German, Swiss, French, Greek and Filipino Parliaments have written letters, as well as the Irish Minister of Defense, asking the Egyptian government to allow the march to proceed.
The Gaza Freedom March has families of three generations, doctors, lawyers, diplomats, 100 students, an interfaith group that includes rabbis, priests and imams, a women’s delegation, a Jewish contingent, a veterans group and Palestinians born overseas who have never seen their families in Gaza.
We have large delegations from the U.S., France, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada, Belgium, Spain, Germany, Greece, Australia, South Africa, the Netherlands and Japan. We also have delegations from Sweden, Turkey, India, Ireland, Switzerland, Jordan, Morocco, Denmark, Lebanon, Austria, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Tunisia, Algeria, Philippines, South Korea, Bahrain, Bosnia, Israel, New Zealand, Slovenia, Saudi Arabia, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Indonesia, Libya, Mexico, Mauritius, Romania and Serbia.
For more information see www.gazafreedommarc h.org , especially Questions and Answers section, or contact:
In Cairo Ann Wright 019 508 1493 microann@yahoo. commicroann@yahoo. commicroann@yahoo. com
In Canada: Sandra Ruch 416-716-4010 miriamswell@ hotmail.com
In the US: Medea Benjamin 415-235-6517 medea@globalexchang e.org
In Gaza: Haider Eid 970 599 441 766 haidareid@yahoo. comhaidareid@yahoo. comhaidareid@yahoo. com
In Europe (Portugal): Ziyaad Lunat +351938349206 z.lunat@googlemail. com