Viva Palestina rebuts Egyptian ‘bungle’ allegations

The Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit claimed at a press conference on Tuesday (December 29) that his country was willing to assist the Viva Palestina convoy’s entry into Gaza. He cited two letters sent by the Egyptian embassy in London on November 10 and December 10. What he does not say is that the conditions laid down were totally unacceptable, as convoy organiser George Galloway responded in writing at the time.

Specifically, these were that Viva Palestina co-ordinate ‘with the Israeli authorities on the passage of aid’, that land convoys would not be admitted and that the convoy should not arrive until the second week of January 2010.

“Egypt may be at the beck, call and command on Israel, but Viva Palestina is not,” said George Galloway. “We refuse to co-operate with a country which continues to illegally hold Palestinian lands, builds even more settlements in the teeth of world opinion and which, just a year ago, slaughtered 1400 people in the Gaza Strip and devastated the
infrastructure. Israel refuses to let through one brick, pane of glass or nail to help rebuild the carnage its warplanes caused.”

Galloway added that the land convoy to Gaza was symbolic because its arrival was due to coincide with the first anniversary of the war on Gaza, “which the Egyptian authorities have done all they can to thwart”.

Ends

For further comment contact Alice Howard on Tel: 07944 512469 or via email: alice@vivapalestina.org

Below are copies of recent correspondence with the Egyptian embassy in London.

Dear Alice,
Confirming the receiving of the convoy details.
Best regards.
Yasser Shaban

— On Sun, 12/20/09, Alice Howard wrote:

From: Alice Howard
Subject: Fw: Viva Palestina Convoy final details
To: yassershaban67@yahoo.com
Date: Sunday, December 20, 2009, 2:13 AM

Dear Yasser

As promised please find attached complete details on the Viva Palestina Gaza convoy.

You will now find attached the Viva Palestina Vehicle Donation list along with the list of aid that is transported in each vehicle.

I do hope that all is sufficient.

Please do advise me on the next steps.

Regards

Alice

———————
Alice Howard
Viva Palestina UK – Administration Manager
Tel: 07944 512 469
Email: alice@vivapalestina.org
Website: http://www.vivapalestina.org/

From: Alice Howard
Sent: Sunday, December 20, 2009 1:55 AM
To: yassershaban67@yahoo.com
Subject: Fw: Viva Palestina Convoy

Dear Yasser

As promised please find attached complete details on the Viva Palestina Gaza convoy.

You will now find attached the Viva Palestina Vehicle Donation list along with the list of aid that is transported in each vehicle.

I do hope that all is sufficient.

Please do advise me on the next steps.

Regards

Alice

———————
Alice Howard
Viva Palestina UK – Administration Manager
Tel: 07944 512 469
Email: alice@vivapalestina.org
Website: http://www.vivapalestina.org/

From: Alice Howard
Sent: Thursday, December 17, 2009 2:54 PM
To: yassershaban67@yahoo.com
Subject: Viva Palestina Convoy

Dear Yasser

As promised please find details for the Viva Palestina Convoy to Gaza.

1. Viva Palestina UK registered volunteers – (see attached)

2. Viva Palestina US registered volunteers – (see attached)

3. Viva Palestina Vehicle Donation List – (see attached)

4. Viva Palestina Aid – All volunteers have completed a customs manifest document which will include the below listed items. Each hard copy document can be retrieved at the border.

1. Medicines/Medical Equipment and Medical Specialists Machines
2. Children Toys
3. Clothing
4. Infant Powder Milk
5, Medical First Aid Kits
6. Educational Material and Stationery

5 Our Viva Palestina partners are the IHH http://www.ihh.org.tr (Insan Hak Ve Hurriyetieri Insani Yadim Vakfi). You will find attached IHH Turkey VP
Participants and Medical Aid List.

Hope that all of the above is sufficient. Do please advise me on the next steps.

Regards

Alice

From: Alice Howard
Sent: Thursday, December 24, 2009 1:35 PM
To: yasser shaban
Subject: Fw: Viva Palestina

Dear Yasser

I would like to inform you that the Viva Palestina convoy is currently approaching Aqaba and are hoping to board the ferry to Egypt this evening.

We are delighted to have received notification that Egypt have granted permission for the convoy to arrive in Gaza on the 27th of December as planned. Regarding the route taken to Nuweiba, this has been made as this is the only route available from Aqaba by ferry crossing.

I need to inform you that there will be a further two more vehicles that will join the convoy in Cairo. The two vehicles are brand new Toyota Ambulances (Hiace) Model 09, Engine 2500 cc, Diesel Manual.

Both vehicles are empty. Please can you kindly add these to your list.

I will inform Mr. Galloway of our conversation just now.

Thank you for your support.

Regards

Alice

———————
Alice Howard
Viva Palestina UK – Administration Manager
Tel: 07944 512 469
Email: alice@vivapalestina.org
Website: http://www.vivapalestina.org/

From: Egyptian Embassy London
Sent: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:56 PM
To: alice@vivapalestina.org
Subject: Viva Palestina Convoy

From: The Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt
To: The Organizers of The Viva Palestina
Convoy which was launched from London 6th December 2009

To the Attention of: Mrs. Alice Howard
Viva Palestina Coordinator

The Embassy would like to inform that the Egyptian authorities have granted permission to the convoy to enter Gaza under the following conditions:

1- Fulfilling the regulations applied to the aid convoys directed to Gaza-which were previously informed by the Egyptian Embassy 25 days before launching the convoy from London 6th December 2009- by the organizers of the third Viva Palestina convoy, and in particular receiving the aid materials through Al-Arish maritime Port.

2- The organizers of the third Viva Palestina convoy should assume the responsibility of coordination with the Israeli authorities on the passage of all the vehicles to the Gaza Strip.

Best Regards

Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt

End

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