…and some, but not all, of the convoy members have made it in as well. Towards the end of Yousef’s interviews below, I’m delighted to see Free Gaza‘s Caoimhe has made it back in – she’s been out doing solidarity work ever since we both left in May.
Egypt refused to let any of the convoy into Cairo, so it re-routed to go the long way round, via Syria then directly to Al Arish, where 60 members of the convoy were injured yesterday in attacks by Egyptian police. Of Egypt’s attitude, Betty Hunter, General Secretary of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign says:
“It is shocking that the Egyptian government is behaving in this way. There can be no justification for preventing this aid and the people who have worked so hard to provide it from reaching Gaza. The Palestinians are waiting for this well publicised international convoy to arrive and these actions of the Egyptian government, and the building of Egypt’s steel wall signal that Egypt is colluding with the Israeli government’s illegal siege of Gaza.”
17.30 GMT Wednesday 6th January: One month, thousands of miles, ten countries, one ship and a four flights later, Viva Palestina has begun to enter the besieged Gaza Strip.
“We are all emotional to see that all of Gaza are out to greet us! Our Viva Palestina convoy is symbolic! It shows the Palestianian people just how much the people of the West do care. We come in peace to deliver humanitarian aid and we hope that our convoy (and convoy’s like ours) will help to build pressure on the Israeli government to break the siege.” – Kevin Ovenden, convoy leader
And Sarah says the first copies of Gaza: Beneath the Bombs arrived to her Manchester office today – don’t think I’ll really believe in them until I collect them on Friday, ready for the first book event on Monday…