17 hours ago
24 May 2009
Well, things are now going from bad to worse. Here is the current situation:
The convoy members and the Politicians have all gone through Egyptian security at the border, entered the compound (passed the first checkpoint and entered the compound) where they had ALL of their passports stamped and APPROVED to LEAVE Egypt. That took place 4 hours ago. Now, Despite having all their passports stamped LONG ago, the members have been sitting and waiting for hours now for the final checkpoint to be opened to Gaza. They are 50 metres from Gaza right now!
Now, the Egyptians are are not allowing them to leave Egypt, this despite, I say again, their passports ARE stamped and APPROVED to LEAVE Egypt!
Additionally, there is some "talk" now of Egypt not allowing the total number of 98 people in the Convoy, to leave and enter Gaza, I say again, after they have already had their passports stamped allowing them to LEAVE Egypt. There are 40 vehicles on this convoy and all of the members are needed to deliver this aid to Gaza.
The Egyptian authorities have offered the members the opportunity to return to Al Arish for the night, whilst this negotiation/stand off continues. And then to return to the crossing tomorrow morning. Let me be clear, the convoy WILL NOT return to Al Arish, they will remain right where they currently are, at the border, as they have come this far and have been approved to LEAVE Egypt over 4 hours ago, even though they are currently being blocked from leaving Egypt by the same authorities who stamped their passports earlier in the day.
A large number of journalists and media are there, and even they are beginning to become agitated. So I expect we will begin to see some television coverage of this very soon.
I am very tired and I hope I have been clear, however, If anyone needs clarification, or wishes to get a message to a convoy member, let me know by making a comment and I will try to help.
As things continue to progress I will keep the blog updated.