Update from protests in Gaza and at the Erez checkpoint

Israel/Palestine
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Erezmarch
Protest at the Erez checkpoint in southern Israel. (Photo: Michael Ratner)

All along the idea for the Gaza Freedom March was that there would be a march inside Gaza once the delegation arrived, and a concurrent march to the Erez checkpoint on the Israeli side of the checkpoint. Although most of the Gaza Freedom March delegation did not go to Gaza from Cairo, the marches still took place. The photo above is the from the Erez checkpoint, and here is a report we just received about the Gaza march:

Word from Gaza is that 6,000 marched — the maximum allowed by Hamas in absence of international shield — civil society march under Palestinian flag only. Govt felt march route too exposed and too narrow for more to march if Israeli attack was possible.

The 84 internationals who marched w/ gazan palestinians went beyond the end of the march to within 500 meters of border and are sitting in the road holding a press conf

Update: Here’s a video that seems to have footage from both the Gaza and Erez marches –

Update from the comments:

The following was from Alex Kane, a reporter for the Indypendent who went into Gaza with the Gaza Freedom March delegation:

AlexK December 31, 2009 at 12:22 pm

There was not 6,000. Maybe 600…

Some Gazan orgs. pulled out because Hamas took a bigger role than originally promised.

Oblviously, this is a difficult story to follow from New York, and we’ll post updates and clarifications as we get them.

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