04 September 2008

PRESS RELEASE

BREAK THE GAZA SIEGE: HELP THE STARVING PALESTINIANS DURING THE MONTH OF RAMADHAAN

The MEDIA REVIEW NETWORK expresses its admiration for, and solidarity with, the Egyptian judges leading a convoy to the Rafah border post, to break the siege on Gaza.

The Egyptian masses, relief organisations, lawyers and doctors unions, as well as members of parliament, will join the fleet on the 10th September 2008, carrying food and medicines, to alleviate the enormous suffering of the Gazan people imposed by the International community.

This event follows a successful challenge to the 14 month siege by the Free Gaza Movement (FGM) in which two boats from Cyprus brought humanitarian aid to the Palestinians, braving death threats from Israel.

An Israeli, Jeff Halper, one of the 46 participants from 17 countries, stated that “to end the siege, end the occupation, end sanctions, the people have to do it, because the governments will not do it and the UN won’t do it because it is controlled by governments.”

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 1,5 million innocent people.

The MEDIA REVIEW NETWORK urges all humanitarian and relief organisations, legal, social, medical, political and religious, NGO’s  as well as the SA Government, to  proffer whatever kind of support, moral or material, to the Egyptian judges and their associates, in this mission of mercy.

Issued by:
Dr. Firoz Osman
Secretary-General
Media Review Network

PS: Financial contributions should be deposited in the following account –

Name of Account:  Humanitarian Relief Committee
Bank:                        Banque Misr
Branch:                    Abu-el-Abbas
Account No:            914
City:                         Alexandria
                                 Arab Republic of Egypt

 

Political spectrum unites for Gaza campaign

By Abdel-Rahman Hussein and Tamim ElyanFirst Published: September 4, 2008

CAIRO: Ideological opponents from across the political spectrum have banded together to launch campaigns to lift the siege on Gaza and reopen the Rafah crossing.

The initial aim of the campaign is to officially reopen the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza on the 10th of Ramadan. The date is not coincidental, as the start of the October war in 1973 was also the 10th of Ramadan that year.  

Political forces from parliament, the Labor and Karama parties, the Doctors’ Syndicate and the Kefaya movement have all come together to launch the campaign.

However, the driving force behind the campaign and the body giving it the greatest impetus is the Muslim Brotherhood.

They have begun two parallel campaigns working in tandem, one aiming to lift the siege on Gaza and the other looking to reopen the Rafah crossing.

The Rafah crossing had been opened earlier this week for two days during which more than 3,000 people crossed the border.

Head of the Muslim Brotherhood bloc at the People’s Assembly Saad El Hossieny submitted a questioning in parliament to Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif where he criticized Egypt’s role in the blockade of Gaza.

Asking for an explanation for why Egypt insisted on keeping the crossing closed, Hosseiny said “Is it inconceivable that the Zionists open the Rafah crossing and then the Egyptians shut it down suffocating fasting Palestinians?”

A statement released by the Brotherhood announcing the formation of the two campaigns said that opening the crossing for a mere two days prior to Ramadan was akin to “silencing the sounds of the gun of resistance in Palestine whether in Gaza, which is under Egyptian siege by Israeli orders, or the West Bank.”

The statement warned that the siege was a ticking time bomb that would explode in Egypt’s face.

At a press conference at the Doctors’ Syndicate Wednesday to launch the campaign, another Brotherhood MP Saad Aboud said that Egypt refuses to reopen the Rafah crossing so that it would not have an Islamic emirate as its neighbor (in allusion to Hamas’ rule of the Strip).

Campaign Coordinator Mahmoud Al Khodeiri accused the Egyptian and Arab governments of participating in the siege but said that the biggest betrayal was from Egypt. Al Khodeiri also took the government to task for supplying Israel with gas while the people of Gaza have been denied the most basic means of subsistence.

“But we want to stress the fact that the campaign doesn’t aim at challenging the policies of the Egyptian government or embarrass it by any means, but to help them break the siege and restore normal relationships with the Palestinians,” El Khodeiry told reporters at the press conference.

He refuted claims that Egypt is restricted by its commitment to international accords that prohibit it from opening the crossings since Egyptian authorities had opened the crossings for two days through a unilateral decision, he explained.

“We aren’t taking sides between Fatah and Hamas, we only need to help the Palestinian people,” said Mansour Hassan, the campaign’s secretary general.

Participants further criticized the fact that Israelis are allowed to cross the border into Egypt with their personal IDs to spend their vacations in Taba, while the Palestinians are denied entrance for medical care and to buy essential needs.

During the launch, researcher Mohamed Esmat announced the birth of a movement called “Egyptians Against the Siege,” a lobby group aimed at pressuring the Egyptian government into reaching an independent deal with the Palestinians concerning crossings, and setting Egypt’s national security as its priority not Israeli security.

The movement will also call for allowing Egyptians entry into Palestine with a Palestinian not an Israeli visa and removing all restrictions on the movement of goods between Egypt and Palestine.

“Opening the borders will lead to an economic boom in the region,” said Gamal Zahran an independent MP.

Donations can be made to Bank Misr, account number 914 or at the Doctors’ Syndicate’s headquarters in Qasr El Nil Street, where volunteers can also register.

MRN

Author: MRN Network

The aspiration of the Media Review Network is to dispel the myths and stereotypes about Islam and Muslims and to foster bridges of understanding among the diverse people of our country. The Media Review Network believes that Muslim perspectives on issues impacting on South Africans are a prerequisite to a better appreciation of Islam.