By Tahir Sema
“A ticking time bomb about to explode in Egypt’s face”
At exactly 11am on the 6th of October a new aid convoy of determined Egyptian delegates and activists from all over Egypt will attempt to break the Gaza siege. They are expected to enter through the Rafah crossing via Egypt in the southern Gaza Strip.
This attempt to break the siege in Gaza is organized by legislative Council member Jamal Al Khoudari, in partnership with the Egyptian Medical Union.
Media Review Network (MRN) an advocacy group based in Pretoria has reliably learnt that the convoy consists of more than 20 buses and 60 cars at this early stage. They intend to stay where ever the authorities stop them; they have with them moveable toilets and tents.
The convoy’s sole purpose is to provide medical assistance for the more than 1.5 million Palestinians faced with a lack of medical provisions and starvation. They also hope to encourage the authorities to reopen the Rafah border crossing permanently.
The Muslim Brotherhood, an opposition political party says “the siege is a ticking time bomb that would explode in Egypt’s face.”
The MRN expresses its admiration for and solidarity with the Egyptian delegates and activists that have embarked on this mission to break the siege on Gaza.
The Rafah border crossing is currently sealed off. No Egyptian is allowed to cross into Palestine through this crossing and vice versa. However, Israelis are allowed to use this border post freely. Dr. Firoz Osman Secretary-General of Media Review Network, says “It is a perversion of justice to allow the Zionist occupiers and persecutors of the Palestinians to tour Egyptian resorts & provide cheap fuel to Israel, and deny basic humanitarian aid, food and medicines to a besieged, starving 1,5 million imprisoned Palestinians. This persecution of the Palestinians by the Egyptian Government is unethical and immoral by any standards. The Egyptian Government is deeply mistaken if they think that this type of provocation will produce security for the Zionist state.” Dr Osman added that “the Egyptian convoy deserves widespread support as it emanates from the ground in opposition to a tyrannical Egyptian regime in cahoots with the Zionist Israeli entity imposing the unprecedented policy of starvation on innocent people.”
Dr. Rizq Abdel Fattah of the Medical Union says that the date 6 October is significant because it is the anniversary of the “historic victory of Egypt over the Zionist state of Israel.” He added that “The Egyptian army was able to break free from the Zionist’s grip of the past and now they hope that the same spirit of resistance will prevail so that on the 6th of October 2008 the siege on the people of Gaza will also be broken.”
According to the organizers this is certainly not the last attempt to break the siege. The organizers are currently working with international groups who would attempt breaking the siege via sea.
The International Middle East Media Centre reports that in August 2008, two boats of the Free Gaza Movement, set sail from Cyprus, arrived at Gaza port carrying 44 international human rights activists in a bid to break the siege.
Plans to send two other boats to Gaza had to be shelved for the time being due to unforeseen circumstances. It is hoped that this mission will be accomplished sooner rather than later.
** For further comment or interviews contact
Tahir Sema: +27 82 940 3403 (Media Review Network – South Africa)
Muhammed Yassen (Activist accompanying the delegation): 0020102869848 (Egypt)
Dr Hazim Farouk (Member of the Egyptian Parliament): 0020105231629 (Egypt)
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