24 May 2009


(post update x1 NOTE, there will be no more updates tonight, the convoy members are down for the night)
I have a few very important things to get out immediately. First most importantly, PRESSTV has a FALSE report on their website claiming this:
UK MPs on hunger strike over no Gaza entry

A group of British lawmakers en-route to the Gaza Strip have gone on a hunger strike after Egypt prevented their aid convoy from entering the besieged sliver.

The Convoy of Hope was expected to cross the Rafah border-crossing on Saturday, but reports say that Egyptian authorities have delayed its entry to the territory.
THIS REPORT IS 100% FALSE, they have confused the Doctors on Hungerstrike (who have been in Egypt since 5th of May) with the "Hope" Convoy members. I have verified this report via a friend who spoke directly to the Deputy Leader of the convoy himself. So it is false.

Next, what PRESSTV reports are the following issues, which I will address:
The 40-truck convoy carrying humanitarian aid, led by at least 150 people including European lawmakers was set to deliver to Gazans medical aids, wheel chairs and programs enabling the visually disabled to use computers.

Cairo however denied them entry, saying that only 20 people, minus aids, are allowed to cross Rafah -- Gaza's only border that bypasses Israel.
Ok, firstly there are not 120 people on this convoy, there are 98 people and 39 trucks. That's almost two people per truck if you minus the Politicians and the disabled people on the convoy. So, all those members are needed to take those trucks through the crossing and into Gaza to deliver that aid to those who are desperate for it.

Egypt approved them all, and then stamped their approval stamp onto every single convoy members passport earlier today,which allows them to leave Egypt. Then all that was left to do was for Egypt to open the last gate to Gaza. The convoy members were only 50 metres from Gaza. However, they then sat there and waited for ages, then there were reports circulating that only a "smaller" number of members would be allowed though. This is NOT due to any "security" issues, as all have been approved and already had their passports stamped to leave the country, as I stated.

The initial number began at 10, negotiations, discussions and meetings ensued, then it was raised to 20 members only. Still, no where near enough to drive the aid into Gaza, given the fact that there are 39 trucks as mentioned. This was, and still is, unacceptable to the Convoy group. The aid must get into Gaza, that is the purpose of the convoy.

The Egyptians then offered to take the convoy members back to Al Arish for the night; as it was by this time close to 6PM Egypt time and people were not getting anywhere. The convoy members refused this offer after a meeting and decided to stay exactly where they were at the border alongside the convoy vehicles. About an hour ago I was told that the Egyptians were clearing a Mosque so that the women and disabled people could get some rest tonight, The men will remain with the vehicles all night long.

PRESSTV did make an attempt to do a live interview with Gerry MacLochlainn the deputy leader and Sinn Fein representative and other members including Fernando Rossi, which I watched on television. However, the mobile phone connection was not that good and the interview was short. However, what he said was just what I stated above in this update.

I do not know what this meeting is for, or about at this time. But, I expect to have more news at some point this evening. Sorry, see update at beginning, no more updates tonight, convoy is down for the night.

In a word, this sucks.
Egypt needs to open that damn gate now!