Negotiations were going on between the Viva people and the Egyptians, I don’t know what that was about, but the members were trapped inside this compound and not being allowed out with or without their vehicles. Then, negotiations broke down between the VP people and Egyptians. At that point people inside the compound began to make their voices heard by chanting and shouting etc And trying to get out of the locked compound. A convoy vehicle hit the gate, At that point 300+ riot squads encircled the compound and brought in huge military water cannon type vehicles to keep the members and vehicles inside this gated compound and locked inside.
Now, after a short while the VP people emerged again and told people to calm down, that they and the Egyptians were again negotiating. And that is where we are right now. On the 2nd phone call things sounded MUCH calmer and under control, which is a good thing! People need to keep their heads about them at this stage. Because the first call was so chaotic I didn’t want to post anything until I got through again to be honest. Screaming and shouting and sounded very frightening. I hope this is the end of the chaos and Egyptian goalpost moving and it all goes smoothly tomorrow inshallah, we will see. My view? Dont hold your breath, tomorrow at Rafah more crap to be flung at them most likely about who can enter.
The boys managed to get photos of the riot squad and all the chaos as it happened, but has no way to get them online until he gets to Gaza. When I hear more I’ll pass it on. Just adding the official statement from VP convoy out now:
Crisis Point in El-Arish
To all friends of Palestine
Our situation is now at a crisis point! Riot has broken out in the port of Al- Arish.
This late afternoon we were negotiating with a senior official from Cairo who left negotiations some two hours ago and did not return. Our negotiations with the official was regarding taking our aid vehicles into Gaza.
He left two hours ago and did not come back. Egyptian authorities called over 2,000 riot police who then moved towards our camp at the port.
We have now blocked the entrance to the port and we are now faced with riot police and water cannons and are determined to defend our vehicles and aid.
The Egyptian authorities have by their stubbornness and hostility towards the convoy, brought us to a crisis point.
We are now calling upon all friends of palestine to mount protests in person where possible, but by any means available to Egyptian representatives, consulates and Embassy’s and demand that the convoy are allowed a safe passage into Gaza tomorrow!
Viva Palestina Convoy Leader