Saturday, 2 January 2010

Para Pembela Palestina Akhirnya Berhasil Terobos Gaza

Dari:, 3 Januri 2009
Untuk: perjuangan Palestina

Judul Asli: "Marchers to Gaza Gather in Cairo; Egypt to Allow 100 Persons into the Strip

30/12/2009 Protest leaders stranded in Cairo accepted an Egyptian offer on Tuesday to allow only 100 out of about 1,300 protesters into blockaded Gaza after the activists staged demonstrations and a hunger strike.

The decision split delegates from more than 40 countries who came to Cairo planning to reach the Palestinian enclave, which shares the Rafah border crossing with Egypt.

Some organizers said Egypt's offer was a victory after it initially refused to allow any of the protesters into the Gaza Strip for the Gaza Freedom March, which is scheduled to take place on Thursday. "It's a partial victory," said Medea Benjamin, an American activist and one of the demonstrations organizers. "It shows that mass pressure has an effect."

They said the foreign ministry offered to let them choose 100 delegates who would be allowed into Gaza. They were due to leave Cairo for Gaza on Wednesday morning.

On Tuesday, hundreds of the frustrated activists gathered to press their case on the front steps of the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate here, holding “Free Gaza” signs and chanting, “Let us go.”

Activists have staged demonstrations and sit-ins around Cairo to push for entry to Gaza. Dozens of French activists camped out in front of their embassy in Cairo after being refused passage.

The offer, however, angered many of the activists. A French organizer rejected it as divisive and said the sit-in in front of the French embassy would continue. "This just gives the Egyptian government a photo-up and the chance say we allowed people through," said Bassem Omar, a Canadian protester. Activists left behind in Cairo said they planned further protests.

Egypt had said it barred the protesters because of the "sensitive situation" in Gaza. It has refused to permanently open the Rafah crossing since the Hamas took over Gaza in 2007, prompting Israel's blockade, but opens it for a few days every month.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit said earlier at a press conference that his country would allow some of the protesters to enter Gaza. "We are looking into allowing a limited the coming days," he said. He accused other protesters of "conspiring" against Egypt. “Those who tried to conspire against us, and they are more than a thousand, we will leave them in the street,” he said.

Egypt has vigorously contested allegations of complicity in the blockade of Gaza, which was devastated last winter during an Israeli aggression against the Strip that killed more than 1,400 Palestinians, including 420 children and injured over 5300 others.

Egypt repeatedly refused to open its border ahead of the planned march, citing what its officials said were “security reasons,” but participants in the march flew to Cairo anyway, hoping the government would relent. “We have not come to Egypt to create trouble or cause conflict,” organizers of the march wrote in an open letter to Egypt’s president, Hosni Mubarak. “We have come because we believe that all people — including the Palestinians of Gaza — should have access to the resources they need to live in dignity.”

The letter said the group, which is urging Israel to lift its blockade, raised tens of thousands of dollars for medical aid, school supplies and clothing to take to Gaza.

Separately, organizers of another aid convoy trying to reach Gaza - Viva Palestina led by British MP George Galloway - said it would head to Syria en route for Egypt after being stranded in Jordan's Red Sea port of Aqaba for five days. They had planned to drive to Gaza from the Red Sea port of Nuweiba - the most direct route - but Egypt insisted the convoy could only enter through El-Arish, on its Mediterranean coast.

International activists have been challenging Israel’s control of Gaza’s waters, sending in boats to bring in supplies and convey support; Israel has blocked many.

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