Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Urgent action call: Egyptian police attack humanitarian Gaza aid convoy

Palestine Solidarity Campaign Press Release

Call for urgent action
  • Contact the Egyptian Embassy
  • Contact the British foreign secretary and the BBC
Last night [5 January] 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 [in Jordan] 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 El-Arish last night. And it is now reported that some of the activists were hospitalized overnight for their injuries. They have since returned back to rejoin 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 El-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 per cent 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-publicized 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 6 December bound for Gaza.

Further information on the Viva Palestina convoy available here:

Press information: contact Alice Howard on telephone + 44 7944 512 469 or via email:

See a sample letter here:

Egyptian Embassy in Dublin
Tel: +353-1-6606718 / +353-1-6606566

Egyptian Embassy in London
Tel: + 44-20-7499-3304
Email: or

Find your local MP here: 

David Miliband (UK Foreign Secretary)
Tel: + 44 (0)20 7008 1500
Email: or or

British Embassy in Egypt
Tel: +(20) (2)279 16000

More contacts available here:

Please email/phone/fax the Egyptian Embassy (and copy this to your MP and Foreign Secretary David Miliband).

Contact the media
Please phone and email the BBC, and other media, to ask for coverage of the convoy’s progress to Gaza.

Please ask your MP to sign EDM 536 in the name of Richard Burden.

Please organize local meetings on Gaza. The Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Viva Palestina can provide speakers – contact the PSC office to arrange for a speaker.

Financial support
Support the financial appeal on the Viva Palestina website as the additional costs incurred because of the obstacles created by the Egyptian government are astronomical.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) aims to raise public awareness about the occupation of Palestine and the struggle of the Palestinian people. PSC seek to bring pressure on both the British and Israeli government to bring their policies in line with international law. PSC is an independent, non-governmental and non-party political organisation with members from communities across the UK. Join PSC today!

Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Address: Box BM PSA
Tel: 020 7700 6192
Fax: 020 7609 7779

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