by John Hurson
Ireland To Gaza
2 Jan. 2010
Today, Saturday January 2nd, the 250 vehicles that make up the “Viva Palestina Convoy” were loaded onto a Turkish cargo ship in the port city of Latikia in Syria. The ship will set sail tonight for El Arish port in Egypt.
The crossing will take 26 hours, having had a futher 8 hours added to it’s journey time by Israeli pressure. Tomorrow, over 500 members of the convoy will fly to El Arish and meet up with their vehicles.
A plane has been charted by Viva Palestina, the Turkish and Malaysian Governments, and it will make 3 trips in order to fly everyone to Egypt.
Having arrived in Aqaba, Jordan on December 24th, the convoy has faced numerous difficulties in the intervening time.
The humanitarian aid convoy could have crossed from Aqaba and reached the Rafah Border with Gaza in 5 hours. Now, 7 days and 600 miles later, they are still not over the line. The Egyptian Government has placed one obstacle after another on the convoy, however, as everyone is determined to deliver this aid to Gaza, they will do whatever it takes to reach their final destination.
The convoy has been on the road for 4 weeks now, having left London on December 6th. They have travelled through Europe, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, and then back to Syria. Convoy members have travelled from 20 different countries, and from Ireland, 10 humanitarians in 3 vehicles form part of the large international delegation.
No one is sure how things will turn out once they reach Egypt, as the goalposts have been changing on a daily basis. It is essential that the Egyptian authorities allow for a safe and speedy passage, and that they get to deliver their humanitarian aid to Gaza without any futher delay.
They appeal to everyone to contact the Egyptian Embassy to ask for their help in delivering this aid without any further delay.