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Dec-21-2009 13:31printcomments

Egypt Seeks to Halt Gaza Peace March

"The blockade of Gaza has brought death, destruction, pain and suffering to the people there. The international community must not ignore their cries for help" - Former US President Jimmy Carter

The life of the residents of Gaza
Courtesy: Codepinkhq

(JERUSALEM) - Using the pretext of escalating tensions on the Gaza-Egypt border, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry stated yesterday that the Rafah border will be closed over the coming weeks, into January.

The group behind the Gaza Freedom March responded that there is always tension at the border because of the siege "We do not feel threatened, and that if there are any risks, they are risks we are willing to take. We also said that it was too late for over 1,300 delegates coming from over 42 countries to change their plans now. We both agreed to continue our exchanges."

Their statement read: "Although we consider this as a setback, it is something we've encountered - and overcome -before. No delegation, large or small, that entered Gaza over the past 12 months has ever received a final OK before arriving at the Rafah border. Most delegations were discouraged from even heading out of Cairo to Rafah."

In that event, it was reported that some had their buses stopped on the way, and some have been told outright that they could not go into Gaza. But after public and political pressure, the Egyptian government changed its position and let them pass.

"Our efforts and plans will not be altered at this point. We have set out to break the siege of Gaza and march on December 31 against the Israeli blockade. We are continuing in the same direction."

The Gaza Freedom March wants the Egyptian embassies and missions all over the world to hear from supporters with a clear message: Let the international delegation enter Gaza and let the Gaza Freedom March proceed.

Contact your local consulate here:

You can also contact the Palestine Division in Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cairo, Ahmed Azzam, tel +202-25749682 Email:

In the U.S., interested residents can contact the Egyptian Embassy, 202-895-5400 and ask for Omar Youssef or email

They suggest this text for those writing:

I am writing/calling to express my full support for the December 31, 2009 Gaza Freedom March. I urge the Egyptian government to allow the 1,300 international delegates to enter the Gaza Strip through Egypt.

The aim of the march is to call on Israel to lift the siege. The delegates will also take in badly needed medical aid, as well as school supplies and winter jackets for the children of Gaza.

Please, let this historic March proceed.

Thank you


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