13 April 2009

UPDATE~European Campaign to Break the Siege

Another convoy on the way to Gaza announced by the European Campaign to Break the Siege on Gaza. Reported to consist of hundreds of trucks with medical equipment. Additionally this time there will not be just one Elected Parliamentarian, like there was with the Viva Palestina convoy and George Galloway. Nope, this time there will be "dozens" of EU parliamentarians coming along. Head up Egypt and Israel!

Gaza – Ma’an Hundreds of trucks loaded with 150 wheelchairs and medical equipment for the disabled and other equipment for the deaf and blind will soon depart for Gaza, according to a statement sent to Ma'an.

Dozens of European parliamentarians will join the convoy, planned to set sail in May from Italy to Egypt, where the group will coordinate passage to the Strip via Rafah.

"The latest Israeli war against the Gaza Strip increased the Palestinian struggle and suffering, leaving many injured and disabled, and many stories of misery,” said Dr Arafat Mady, head of the European Campaign.

He added, "There are some cases that we could name where patients have become 100 percent disabled, paralyzed, and others who lost their sight, and many who are no longer able to hear."

He said the aim of the convoy is to remind the world of what happened to Palestinians there and the consequences of the war, and to encourage other states to support Gaza.

He also called on Israel and Egypt to open their crossings to permit patients to travel, noting that hundreds of Palestinians have died due to lack of treatment.

100 European lawmakers, governors, mayors visit West Bank refugee camps, Italian aid convoy to Gaza

Some 100 European parliamentarians, mayors and governors arrived in the West Bank on Sunday under the auspices of a program that “twins” French cities with Palestinian refugee camps.

The leaders, who are primarily French, visited their counterparts on Sunday in the twinning project in Deheisha Refugee Camp in the West Bank city of Bethlehem. The delegation is led by Fernand Tuil, the head of the French twinning committee (Association des Villes Françaises Jumelées avec des Camps de Réfugiés Palestiniens).

The delegation is scheduled to visit several Palestinian refugee camps in the West Bank and Jerusalem to show solidarity with the Palestinian people, and demonstrate support for Palestinian refugees’ right to return to their homes from which they and their ancestors were expelled in 1948.

The delegation will also hold talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and other Palestinian politicians in order to receive updates about the situation in Palestine.

According to Tuil, the predominantly French delegation is the largest of its kind that has ever come to the Palestinian territories. He said the goal of the visit is to support the struggle of the Palestinian people for their national aims.

During their visit that began at noon in Deheisha Camp, the European officials met Ahmad Muheisin, head of the Palestinian side of the twinning committee, and Muhammad Al-Lahham, a Palestinian lawmaker, and attended a reception at Al-Fineiq Hall.

Another meeting is scheduled to be held in Aida Refugee Camp, also in Bethlehem, where the guests will meet Palestinian lawmaker Issa Qaraqi and other activists in the camp to discuss a potential pairing between Aida and the French city Nogent.

European figures including Swiss MP to participate in Italian aid convoy to Gaza


Swiss MP Joseph Zisyadis and other anti-siege European personalities declared their intention to participate in the "Hope" convoy traveling from Italy to the besieged Gaza Strip earlier next month to express their solidarity with the distressed Gaza people.

In a press statement, MP Zisyadis condemned the Israeli siege on Gaza as a shameful crime against humanity, calling for lifting it immediately.

He also urged the world's free people and human rights advocates to urgently act to end the suffering of the besieged Palestinians in Gaza.

For his part, Sameh Habib, the spokesman for the convoy's coordination committee, said that the convoy will be composed of about 100 trucks and ambulances loaded with medicines, clothing and needs for the handicapped and hundreds of orphans whose parents were killed during the last Israeli war on Gaza.

Habib invited journalists and media outlets to cover this important event and relay the real suffering of one and a half million Palestinians to the whole world.

Organizer of the convoy the European campaign to lift the siege is making concentrated efforts to send this magnificent convoy to Gaza in the context of its endeavors to break the Israeli siege on Gaza.

The European campaign said that the convoy would be composed of hundreds of trucks coming from different European cities to the Italian city of Milan and would be transported on a large cargo ship to the port of Alexandria in Egypt and then into Gaza. source