Report: Viva Palestina humanitarian convoy to Gaza stopped by 2,000 Egyptian riot police

Israel/Palestine
on 28 Comments

This story is breaking right now. Similar to the recent Gaza Freedom March, the Egyptian government is not letting the Viva Palestina humanitarian convoy enter Gaza. Here is the latest from Viva Palestina:

Crisis in Egypt

Viva Palestina faced with 2,000 riot police in the port of Al-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!

Kevin Ovenden Viva Palestina Convoy Leader

And here is a report from Press TV:

As with much breaking new, the best place for updates is twitter. Follow the #vivapalestina hashtag for the latest news.

Here’s an update from 6:21 pm Eastern Time from joti2gaza, a member of the convoy:

All quiet for now. Six arrested, lots of head wounds as cops started the rock throwing. One serious injury stretchered out.

About Adam Horowitz

Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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28 Responses

  1. VR
    January 5, 2010, 8:31 pm

    This is about enough out of this fascist thugs!

    VIOLENCE UNLEASHED

  2. Les
    January 5, 2010, 8:40 pm

    Take a look at what Turkish television is reporting.

    link to video.ntvmsnbc.com

    Is there any wonder that no one cares about the dying/death of US media that finds it inappropriate to report the news?

    • potsherd
      January 5, 2010, 9:02 pm

      Apparently a number of the vehicles were donated by Turkey.

    • MRW
      January 5, 2010, 9:24 pm

      Amazing videos, Les and VR. Thank you.

      Astounding that CNN isn’t covering this. Well, I guess it isn’t, since it is no longer a news org.

  3. seeingformyself
    January 5, 2010, 9:22 pm

    Did I hear that right…all the people with the convoy will be allowed into Gaza? The sticking point in negotiations was mainly about American vehicles Egypt won’t allow into Gaza? And the US must be asking for that denial, right?
    It is ridiculous…Those vehicles can’t be of real importance to the US…we must be bowing to Israel’s request; only to once again look foolish before the rest of the world.
    Has Obama or the white house made a comment or acknowledge what’s been happening for the past 10 days.
    US continues to look stupid…and without George W Bush at the helm.

    • Aref
      January 5, 2010, 9:33 pm

      Well many around the world thought that Obama was the messiah who will turn the US around into a country respectful of others and of human rights and the rule of law. Those people I suppose were desperate to cling to the slightest glimmer of hope but in reality had no understanding of US politics. THERE IS NO TANGIBLE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS. they are the two faces of the same corrupt system. The real rulers are the corporations and the republicrats are there servants.
      Of course Obama–his administration–said nothing about this or the Gaza Freedom March. Anyone who expects anything in this regard from the Obama adminstration needs to wake up and smell the coffee.

      • potsherd
        January 5, 2010, 9:39 pm

        I keep thinking of the man from Gaza who spent his own money to call voters in the US to help Obama’s campaign. What must he be feeling now! If he’s still alive.

      • MRW
        January 5, 2010, 9:44 pm

        I voted for Obama and campaigned for him. The greatest disappointment for me now is that I was fooled. And the incredible time I wasted (not to mention money I could have used for myself.) I mean HOURS, DAYS, WEEKS, MONTHS, TWO YEARS.

        I just saw a NYT thing on Parma, Italy. I think I’ll move there and turn off everything.

      • Aref
        January 5, 2010, 9:48 pm

        Yes it is very sad indeed to think of all those people who had high hopes only to be let down. They must be feeling awful.

      • seeingformyself
        January 5, 2010, 9:49 pm

        Wish I didn’t know about that! How sad….and infuriating
        Aref…have been smelling and drinking the coffee…I’m not asleep or in la,la land but I do get stuck in the twilight zone from time to time.

      • Aref
        January 5, 2010, 9:51 pm

        That’s not the solution MRW. That is precisely what those politicians want. We need to change the system.

      • seeingformyself
        January 5, 2010, 9:53 pm

        Wish I didn’t know about the man calling in support of Obama! How sad….and infuriating that his hopes have been ignored…Palestinians are amazingly hopeful people but are being pushed to the edge.
        Aref…have been smelling and drinking the coffee…I’m not asleep or in la,la land but I do get stuck in the twilight zone from time to time.

      • Aref
        January 5, 2010, 9:54 pm

        I wasn’t implying that you were asleep seeingformyself. I was making a general statement because I know there are very many who still believe that Obama is Mr. Messiah. Mr. Slick that is certain but a savior? Far from it. I am certain you are aware of that.

      • seeingformyself
        January 5, 2010, 10:07 pm

        no problem Aref…Don’t believe in saviors but did have hopes Obama was different…he is certainly “different” from what I’d hoped for.
        I was furious with my grandson because he didn’t vote…I have always voted…now I’m wondering if it’s worth it. I guess if Palin runs for President I can always write in myself.

      • Shmuel
        January 6, 2010, 3:29 am

        MRW: I just saw a NYT thing on Parma, Italy. I think I’ll move there and turn off everything.

        You could do worse. If you’re good, I’ll hop over for a visit. I promise not to mention the Not-the-Bush Prize laureate.

      • Citizen
        January 6, 2010, 8:23 am

        A great crushed beast is awakening; what will it do? And who will push Tweedledee and Tweedledum to the curb?

        link to opednews.com

  4. Aref
    January 5, 2010, 9:26 pm

    I just read on Al-Jazeera that the orgainzers are threatening to set fire to the vehicles if they are not allowed to cross into Gaza.
    Al-Jazeera also reported that clashes broke out between the Egyptian “security forces” and the participants in the convoy.
    Yes this is the example of regime the US wants to rule: fascist thugs.

  5. potsherd
    January 5, 2010, 10:14 pm

    The latest thing I saw was that Egypt wanted 1/4 of the trucks to go around and through an Israeli-controlled crossing and Galloway refused. “Whatever goes into Israel never comes out.”

    • Aref
      January 5, 2010, 10:27 pm

      Yes the report said that Egypt wanted 50 vehicles, some were passenger vehicles–I presume busses, or taxis–a truck equipped for live TV transmission, mobile electric generator (vehicle mounted) were among those vehicles Egypt wanted to reroute through Israel knowing very well that if that happens they will certainly be held by Israel and never allowed into Gaza.
      No of course Egypt is not collaborating with Israel but is acting in view of its own security and affirming its sovereignty!!!!! Yes if anybody believes that then I know somebody in Nigeria who has a very good business proposal.

    • Chaos4700
      January 5, 2010, 10:29 pm

      Good for Galloway. He’s right.

      Is it true that the trucks that are being bounced are the ones that originate from the United States? Those who thing affair is starting to have the US State Department’s fingerprints all over it.

      • Aref
        January 5, 2010, 10:35 pm

        Al-Jazeera did not mention anything about the origin of the vehicles Egypt wanted rerouted.

      • MRW
        January 6, 2010, 12:24 am

        One of the reports I just watched did. It was as Chaos said: the US trucks and Jeeps.

      • potsherd
        January 6, 2010, 10:59 am

        The trucks that were not allowed in were carrying vehicles, which Israel does not consider “humanitarian aid,” even when the vehicles are ambulances.

        It is the contents, not the origin.

  6. potsherd
    January 6, 2010, 9:46 am

    This affair has turned for the worse. Palestinians rioted on the other side of Rafah, people have been killed. link to english.aljazeera.net

    It is clear that not all the violence has been on the Egyptian side.

  7. potsherd
    January 6, 2010, 10:57 am

    Here link to english.aljazeera.net is a report from one of the people in the VP convoy. Note the photo of the truck at the top, the language is Turkish. Egypt is not making more friends here.

  8. Les
    January 6, 2010, 2:09 pm

    Viva Palestina convoy breaks siege and enters Gaza.

    link to vivapalestina.org

  9. Oscar
    January 6, 2010, 2:35 pm

    Bravo to the great people of Viva Palestina who were so persistent in breaking the siege.

    When the violence broke out at the Gazan border between Egyptian riot police and the participants of Viva Palestina, leaving 50 people injured, the Irish foreign minister went out with an immediate statement. Can anyone imagine Hillary Clinton going out with a similar statement seeking to protect the American participants in Viva Palestina? No, Hillary is far more concerned with the progress of the steel “wall of death” being constructed to kill off any more vital supplies to Gaza.

    “I was concerned to hear that a number of Irish citizens had been caught up in disturbances which took place last night in El Arish, an Egyptian port near the border with Gaza, and that at least one of them had been injured in the incident. I have been speaking with the family of one of the Irish volunteers in question to assure them that we were doing everything possible to ensure the safety of the volunteers in El Arish.

    I have also spoken today with Ireland’s Ambassador to Egypt, Mr. Gerard Corr, and asked that he keep me personally informed of developments. The Irish Embassy in Cairo has been in contact with the volunteers on the ground and with the Egyptian authorities, and officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin have also been in touch with the Egyptian Embassy here.

    The Irish Embassy in Cairo has been liaising with the Egyptian Ministry for Foreign Affairs on a regular basis for more than a week to highlight the presence of Irish volunteers in the ‘Viva Palestina’ aid convoy and to request safe passage for them to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza. The Embassy has remained in touch on a daily basis with the Irish volunteers since 24 December. We understand that there are 12 Irish people in the group.

    In light of last night’s disturbances, the Embassy in Cairo has contacted the Egyptian Foreign Ministry and expressed concern at reports that Irish citizens had been caught up in the violence. We have also expressed our concern to the Egyptian authorities for the welfare of the Irish citizens involved in the aid convoy.

    We will continue to monitor the situation closely and maintain close contact with the volunteers and the Egyptian Government.” .

    Source: link to isria.com

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