CJPP: What you can do for Gaza today 30Dec09 December 30, 2009

1. Contact Egyptian embassies and consulates in Australia asking them to assist the Viva Palestina aid convoy and the Gaza Freedom march (contact details and sample letter below)

2. Contact the Australian media
to ask them to improve their coverage of these events
(contact details below)

Egypt is doing its best to prevent the Viva Palestina aid convoy and the Gaza Freedom Marchers from reaching Gaza. Viva Palestina and The Gaza Freedom March, were planning to arrive at the Rafah crossing on Sunday to commemorate the first anniversary of Israel’s war on Gaza that killed 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis. However Egypt refused to allow the Viva Palestina convoy to go through the Red Sea port of Nuweiba, the most direct route to Gaza insisting that the convoy can only enter through El-Arish , on its Mediterranean coast. It is reported that hundreds of people in Cairo have been prevented from getting close to the border with Gaza and that a group who got as far as the Sinai port of El Arish have been detained by the Egyptian police.

New York TimesRadio France International, BBC and the Huffington Post
Perdana Malaysia Viva Palestina Turkey (in Turkish)

1. Contact Egyptian embassies and consulates in Australia

His Excellency Mr Omar METWALLY        Email:  aeyambissy@bigpond.com Fax:  02 6273 4279
Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt
1 Darwin Avenue
Yarralumla ACT 2600

Egyptian Embassy, Canberra:  Tel:+(02) 6273 4437 or  6273-4438        Email: egyembassy@bigpond.com

Egyptian Consulate in Sydney: Tel.:  (61 2) 9281-4844                           Email: info@egypt.org.au

Egyptian Consulate in Melbourne Tel: 03) 9654 8634  (03) 9654 8869  Fax: (03) 9650 8362 Emails:  info@egyptianconsulate.org.au

2. Contact Australian media
Why have we heard nothing from the Australian media? Contact them to ask why they are not letting us know about the siege of Gaza and why they have not let us know about Egypt refusing permission for the Viva Palestina convoy to dock in Nuweiba Let them know you want to hear what is happening.  Tell them there are Australians on the Viva Palestina convoy and in Cairo for the Gaza Freedom March. Why were there no media reports of the highly successful Gaza Freedom Vigil held in Sydney <htpp://coalitionforpalestine.org>
The ABC (02) 8333 1500;
Sydney Morning Herald 02 9282 1569
The Australian
for all emails and telephone numbers

Sample Letter to the Egyptian authorities

Even as far away as Australia we have heard of the obstacles the Egyptian government is putting in the way of the Viva Palestina International Humanitarian Aid convoy and the Gaza Freedom marchers.

The Viva Palestina convoy was refused permission from Egyptian  to enter Gaza via the Rafa crossing. This convoy, made up of volunteers from many nations who are personally bringing ambulances and trucks bearing medical supplies, baby food and clothing for the people of Gaza, has been forced to take a less direct route via El Arish which is delaying the arrival of the much-needed aid.

Hundreds of  Gaza Freedom Marchers from 43 countries are now pouring into Cairo only to find that they are banned by the Egyptian government from delivering $100,000s of humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza. They are banned from meeting together in groups larger than six.

Through the inaction of the UN and the international community, the marchers have left their families at this Christmas time to carry aid on behalf of their home communities.  They have  paid their own way to Cairo to represent civil society’s response to the overwhelming inhumanity of Israel’s criminal blockade of 1.5 million Gazans.

I now respectfully ask the Egyptian government to help them carry out their mission and travel to Gaza in a spirit of peace and cooperation.

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