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Jan-01-2010 23:51printcomments

Gaza: The Next 72 Hours are Critical

Tentative plans could see the group finally reach its destination, Gaza, by January 3rd.

Viva Palestina Convoy passing through Syria
Viva Palestina Convoy passing through Syria
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(CAIRO, Egypt) - Last night the group of over a thousand activists from all over the world hoping to break the siege of Gaza by delivering vehicles and much needed aid, received further info about the next critical 72 hours.

Kevin Ovenden, leader of Viva Palestina and right hand man of British MP George Galloway who is a vocal and integral part of the Free Gaza Movement, reported that:

"We have got a cargo ship which, weather pending, will set sail tomorrow afternoon (1st January) on a 20-hour crossing to Al-Arish. At the moment, the ferry cargo ship only allows 12 people on board but Viva Palestina is trying to extend that to 60 people. These people are crucial to minding the vehicles and ensuring a safe entry into Egypt. The remaining 450 people will fly on chartered airplanes to Al-Arish and arrive Sunday afternoon before the boats, and hopefully we will get out to the port without trouble before the boats arrive."

Ovenden says these arrangements are dependent on the weather, but these are the plans.

"Overall and inshallah, we expect to be in Al-Arish (25 kms from Gaza) by Sunday afternoon. The last time the convoy was there, they got stones thrown at their vehicles, and physical abuse from the Egyptian police. We expect the same and will draw up strategies to deal with these possiblities.

It’s hard to beat down a man that has driven 5000 miles through all lands and seas, fueled by a tidal wave of great support, Ovenden says, adding that the Egyptians will need more than fists to block their entry, though they will not provoke them. He says the answer is to hope for the best and expect the worst.

"So, once we enter Al-Arish, the shite will hit the fan....There will be an inevitable 2-3 day delay and possibly more...Rumours suggest the Rafah crossing into Gaza is open from the 3rd to the 5th. Hopefully and ideally, we will enter on the 3rd, spend a couple of days in Gaza building up contacts of support and be able to fly home from Sharm el Sheik on the 6th January."

He admits that this is doubtful.

"As I said we are prepared for the worst, but live in hope. The next 72 hours are the most critical of the whole campaign and we need your support more than ever, to cover the media side and put pressure on Egyptians to let us through. We are on their doorstep and they must let us in."

Submitted by The Gaza Five


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About the Gaza Five:

The Gaza Five are: Jonathon Crockett, Eanna O'Donaghaile, Danny Doyle, Eddie Mc Bride and Derek Mc Chrystal. On December 5th this year, five Derry men set out on a long journey from Derry to the Gaza strip in an ambulance full of medical aid and educational resources in order to provide humanitarian relief to the people of that region. These are people who are suffering since the latest conflict, which caused devastation resulting in much of Gaza being destroyed and 1,400 men, women and children being killed. The Israelis have now placed a blockade on Gaza preventing any aid into Gaza's impoverished people and preventing them from leaving. These 5 Derry men took on the task of driving this ambulance all the way to Gaza meeting up with a convoy of 220 other vehicles from all over Europe to deliver humanitarian aid through the organisation 'Viva Palestina'.

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Ryan January 2, 2010 1:57 pm (Pacific time)

We need to address the tyranny and oppression that is being directed at the Coptic Christians in Egypt coupled with Obama's foreign policy failures that are starting to accumulate at a fast clip in the last ten days. For it appears Barack Obama's inexperience and amateurishness has just started bonfires on the bridges connecting him to the American intelligence community and delivered a huge, HUGE psychological win to Al Qaeda. People tell me the President’s rush to acknowledge the attack on the CIA in Afghanistan and mourn the deaths openly, publicly, and via press release is a huge no no. The CIA and greater intelligence community would prefer not to have the attention put on them. Additionally, because the President took the time to draft a blanket statement focused on the CIA in general instead of individually and more privately focusing on the families of the victims, it acknowledges the CIA’s work in Afghanistan, acknowledges that the attack has an impact on the CIA, and gives the terrorists a new recruiting tool — “you too can cause America to publicly mourn the loss of their spies.” To you and me this may not seem like a big deal. But I’m told this is hugely significant and shows just how out of touch the Obama administration is with the intelligence community. I’m told that no other President has issued such blanket statements of public mourning directed toward an attack on the CIA and thereby having the White House itself confirming an attack on our intelligence community. The intelligence community is licking its wounds right now and Obama’s rush to confirm for the world that the community suffered such wounds has the intelligence community simmering tonight and Al Qaeda preparing a PR blitz with what they view as good news. UPDATED: Take the information above and couple it with this. The White House is subtly blaming the intelligence community for the failure to deduce the Delta/Northwest attack. Why?

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