December 21, 2009
We are determined to break the siege
We all will continue to do whatever we can to make it happen
Using the pretext of escalating tensions on the Gaza-Egypt border, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry informed us yesterday that the Rafah border will be closed over the coming weeks, into January. We responded that there is always tension at the border because of the siege, that we do not feel threatened, and that if there are any risks, they are risks we are willing to take. We also said that it was too late for over 1,300 delegates coming from over 42 countries to change their plans now. We both agreed to continue our exchanges.
Although we consider this as a setback, it is something we’ve encountered-and overcome — before. No delegation, large or small, that entered Gaza over the past 12 months has ever received a final OK before arriving at the Rafah border. Most delegations were discouraged from even heading out of Cairo to Rafah. Some had their buses stopped on the way. Some have been told outright that they could not go into Gaza. But after public and political pressure, the Egyptian government changed its position and let them pass.
Our efforts and plans will not be altered at this point. We have set out to break the siege of Gaza and march on December 31 against the Israeli blockade. We are continuing in the same direction.
Egyptian embassies and missions all over the world must hear from our supporters (by phone, fax, and email) over the coming crucial days, with a clear message: Let the international delegation enter Gaza and let the Gaza Freedom March proceed.*
Contact your local consulate here: <www.mfa.gov.eg/MFA_Portal/en-GB/mfa_websits/>.
Contact the Palestine Division in Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cairo:
Ahmed Azzam: Tel +202-25749682; Email: <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
If you are in the U.S., contact the Egyptian Embassy, 202-895-5400 and ask for Omar Youssef or email <email@example.com>.
Then, hit the streets and join a solidarity action in your community: <www.gazafreedommarch.org/solidarity>.
Thank you for being part of a global movement.
The Gaza Freedom March Steering Committee
* Sample text
I am writing/calling to express my full support for the December 31, 2009 Gaza Freedom March. I urge the Egyptian government to allow the 1,300 international delegates to enter the Gaza Strip through Egypt.
The aim of the march is to call on Israel to lift the siege. The delegates will also take in badly needed medical aid, as well as school supplies and winter jackets for the children of Gaza.
Please, let this historic March proceed.
For more information, visit <www.gazafreedommarch.org>.