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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 1/6/10

Blocking Freedom Marcher/Viva Palestina Aid to Gaza

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However, members report that the "situation is changing by the hour," yet everyone remains hopeful. Spokeswoman Alice Howard said the "convoy expects to enter the Gaza Strip via the Rafah crossing from Egypt at 2pm local time on Tuesday." In 2009, Galloway lead two successful missions. He hopes to make this one his third with much more aid if successful.


On January 5, a late report from Al Arish casts doubt saying:


"Our situation is now at a crisis point! Riot has broken out in the port of Al Arish. This late afternoon we were negotiating with a senior official from Cairo who left negotiations some two hours ago and did not return." It was about securing safe passage to Gaza with needed aid.


Afterward, "Egyptian authorities called over 2,000 riot police who then moved towards our camp at the port. We have now blocked the entrance (and) now faced with (them) and water cannons and are determined to defend our vehicles and aid."


"The Egyptian authorities have by their stubbornness and hostility....brought us to a crisis point."


Early AM January 6, it's reported that hundreds of members broke down the gate at the Al Arish port in protest. George Galloway scuffled with Egyptian police, and 55 activists were injured when police used water cannons, tear gas and batons to beat people who objected to Cairo's obstructionism.


Authorities told Galloway and other convoy leaders that dozens of aid vehicles would be sent to the Israeli checkpoint, not Rafah that Egypt controls. Of course, nothing entering Israel reaches Gaza, so this idea was rejected. Hence the scuffle, standoff, and unsuccessful resolution as of early AM US Central time, January 6.


As a result, Viva Palestina calls on friends and supporters to protest by any means possible and demand that the entire convoy be granted free access to Gaza. The situation remains fluid, so new developments are likely after this article is published. Follow them at vivapalestina.org and web sites reporting their progress, or lack of it.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.
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