Sunday, 27 July 2008

Humanity stranded at Gaza's gate – thanks to Israel’s Egyptian collaborators

Will humanity vanquish gross and unlawful oppression?

Khalil and Linda left Edinburgh 18 days ago with their precious cargo of medical supplies for Gaza. The 1.5 tons had been gathered together by them. The idea of this journey for humanity and reason was conceived by them. It has been pursued with courage and tenacity. This shows it.

They were turned away at the borders of Croatia but why? That meant retracing their steps. Thirteen hours at the Turkish border was the next hoop. Khalil phoned me to say that a valuation of the cargo from the D&D was needed. Soon after I sent the fax they were on their way. The Syrians were very friendly and an escort was provided by them up to the Jordan border. After they crossed by ferry from Aqaba to the Egyptian shore they had 25 hours to wait. This would have tried the patience of Job (perhaps he lived in those parts and liked a swim). Then on to Rafah about 8 days ago where the barrier was a mile high. Some helpful guards offered to look after the van at Rafah and they retired to El Arish for some food, water and rest.

Each day this valiant couple present themselves at the Rafah gate. One minute they are told that it is likely they will be let through and in the next breath that it will never be allowed. There are no EU observers, those having been removed over 2 years ago. It is known that the Egyptian border guards liaise with an Israeli office about who is to leave or to enter.

Linda has to return to her nursing post in 3 days so is flying home tomorrow from Sharm El Sheikh with the holiday makers. The money has run away with phone calls especially and with a trip which is twice as long as they had planned.

The essence is this. Humanity is made to matter little. The supplies are needed in Gaza such as tracheostomy tubes for sick children and adults. But maintaining the draconian siege is more important to Israel, Egypt and about 40 other nations including the 27 nations of the EU. How does the barring of these supplies and their good guardians square with the European Charter on Human Rights? Why the collective punishment of 1.5 million people.

The press officer at the British Embassy was asked today 'What international law is being used to bar the entry of these humanitarian supplies and the couple who convey them at Rafah gate?'

“This is legal matter between Egypt and Israel.” She did intimate that Israel has the whip hand in this inhumanity.

The fact is that the most sophisticated weapons glide so easily across borders.


This article first appeared on the Dove and Dolphin website.

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