Press UpdateConvoy Leader, Senator Fernando Rossi, from Italy said:
Convoy of Hope for Gaza
European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza
Friday 22nd May 2009
On Friday morning the 22nd May, the members of the Hope for Gaza Convoy organised by the European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza (ECESG) are making final preparations in Port Said for the departure of the convoy for Al Areesh and Al Rafah.
The organisers gathered the delegation into groups in order to consult on urgent procedural matters and to review current progress.
There have been numerous delays since the cargo arrived in Alexandria on Saturday last. Since then the organisers have been awaiting the arrival of a ship in Alexandria to take the medicines and medical equipment to Port Said where it will leave by road for the border crossing at Al Rafah.
Parliamentarians and other elected officials from Europe contacted the Foreign Ministry to clarify outstanding matters and to seek assurances of co-operation from the Egyptian authorities.
“The Foreign Ministry have pledged their support for the humanitarian aims of the convoy to relieve the suffering of innocent men, women and children in Gaza.”Deputy leader of the convoy, Councillor Gerry MacLochlainn from Ireland, said:
“They have assured us that they will facilitate our travel to Al Areesh and Al Rafah and permit the convoy to cross the border into Gaza once the ship arrives in Port Said. The ship has now picked up its cargo and is en route to Port Said”
“There have been a number of delays to the convoy since we arrived and delegates are becoming frustrated and concerned. This is understandable as many have collected and saved considerable sums of money to bring this aid to Gaza and they are keen to see it delivered.ENDS
“The news that the ship in on its way to Port Said and that we will soon be on the final leg of our journey to Gaza has been an enormous relief to many people.”
“This medicine and the medical equipment is needed urgently in Gaza and there are people who will die if this material is not delivered. We cannot allow this to happen when these medicines and the medical equipment is so close.
“We are confident that that this will happen with the full co-operation of the authorities here.”