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Media Fact Sheet on Viva Palestina


URGENT MEDIA FACT SHEET

BREAKING NEWS ON VIVA PALESTINA


Friday, 8th January 2010

  • The Viva Palestina Convoy left London on 6th December 2009 to deliver humanitarian to Gaza ; travelling through Europe, Turkey , Syria , Jordan and Egypt.
  • The Middle East Monitor (MEMO) sent two officials to cover the journey.
  • This third Viva Palestina convoy was a joint undertaking between the Viva Palestina and the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign (UK).
  • After five days of delay in the Jordanian port of Aqaba and a forced detour to the Syrian port of Lazikiya .
  • While the specially rented ferries took the aid vehicles to the port the 500 internationals volunteers flew in from Syria as requested by the Egyptians authorities.
  • The convoy finally arrived in El Areesh , Egypt on Monday 4th January.
  • They were taken to the port where they were told the following day that no more than 50 vehicles would be allowed to enter through the Rafah Crossing.
  • On the night of Tuesday 5th the convoy was set upon by Egyptian riot police, more than 50 people were beaten; several sustained severe injuries.

  • Seven members of the convoy were temporarily arrested.
  • On Wednesday 6th there were clashes at the Rafah crossing between stone-throwing Palestinians in Gaza protesting against the new steel wall and delay of the convoy, and Egyptian forces on the other side of the border.
  • 35 Palestinians were injured in the confrontation, one reported clinically dead. While these clashes took place the convoy was still in El Areesh.
  • On the Egyptian side there were reports that one soldier was killed, it is still unclear who the attacker was or from which side the fire came.
  • On Wednesday 6th January the first batch of the convoy members finally entered Gaza on condition that they had only 48 hours to off-load, deliver and distribute the aid.

  • On Thursday 7th the Egyptian authorities announced that there were seeking the arrest of seven members of the convoy, previously detained and released in El Areesh. The convoy spokesman Zahir al Birawi confirmed that the FCO had contacted the convoy and gave assurances that no Britons will be arrested.
  • Upon his departure on Friday 8th George Galloway was shuffled into a security vehicle and escorted by 25 agents to the airport in Cairo and declared personna non grata in Egypt .

 

 

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