Viva Palestina convoy needs your help
A message from Viva Palestina
On 6 December 2009, the third Viva Palestina international aid convoy set off from London. Over the next few weeks it traveled almost 3,000 miles through nine countries gaining support as it went. By 24 December, Christmas Eve, when it reached the post of Aqaba in Jordan, it had grown to almost 500 people in 250 vehicles – carrying much needed medical aid for the besieged people of Gaza.
And there its journey could have come to an end. The convoy was refused passage across the Red Sea to the Sinai by the Egyptian authorities – gatekeepers of the Rafah crossing into Gaza. The convoy would only be allowed to enter Gaza if it landed at the port of El-Arish on the Mediterranean coast.
The convoy was forced to turn around and head back through Jordan and Syria to take ship from there to Egypt. But this solution, imposed by the Egyptian authorities, has come at a cost. Viva Palestina and our partners will need to charter a large cargo boat and a plane to move our vehicles and convoy members from Syria to Egypt. And we need to raise the money to pay for this.
So we are asking our friends and supporters to dig deep in their pockets and make an emergency donation towards the costs now facing the convoy. With your help we will once more deliver aid to the people of Gaza – and once more demand the end to this in human siege.
Thanks you for your support and may we wish everyone a Happy New Year.
The Viva Palestina convoy is now steaming towards Egypt after facing down all efforts to delay or stop its mission to bring relief to the besieged people of Gaza.
The refusal by the government of Egypt to allow the convoy – now 200 vehicles strong – to pass last week across the Red Sea has meant that over $2,000,000 worth of aid has been kept from its recipients, charities and NGOs in the Gaza Strip.
The longer, more dangerous and more expensive route imposed by the Egyptian authorities also means that it will cost hundreds of thousands of pounds more to get the aid to the needy. That is money that should be spent on the sick and hungry.
George Galloway, who inspired the launch of Viva Palestina, says:
“Viva Palestina and the major Turkish charity IHH, which is a partner in the convoy, are appealing for funds to cover the punitive costs that have been imposed on the convoy thanks to obstruction and delays that have been imposed on it.
“Millions of people have followed this epic journey hour by hour on channels such as Al Jazeera and Press TV, or through websites, twitter and email blasts.
“They will have been enraged as they saw the attempts to prevent it reaching its goal. But we know from thousands of messages and the outpouring of public reaction in the Arab and muslim worlds that they too share the convoy participants’ determination to see the mission succeed.
“Now they, you, have a chance to help it do so. The convoy organisers are appealing for urgent funds to ensure that the additional costs are met and do not have to come from monies already pledged to help the Palestinian people directly.
“If you are inspired by this humanitarian convoy, but angry at the way it has been frustrated you now have a chance to show it.
“Please rush your donations to Viva Palestina or the IHH and send the people of Gaza a message that they are not alone as they live through the anniversary of a bombardment that claimed over 1,400 lives. Your donation will help get the aid convoy through.
“With your generosity the extra costs can be more than met and the surplus raised will go to charitable work in the Palestinian cause. What better answer could there be to those who wish this convoy ill than to rally to it and support it financially?”
All donations for the emergency appeal for the Viva Palestina Gaza convoy can be made through Viva Palestina and through the IHH. Please see details below.
1. Viva Palestina: HSBC Bank account number 41508458; sort code 40 04 24.
2. IHH – Insani Yardim Vakfi – The Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief: T C Ziraat Bankasi A S account number 212 49 94 – 5012, iban code TR280001000488021249945012.