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URGENT: EGYPT STALLS HUMANITARIAN AID TO GAZA, Disrupts first Asian Caravan to Gaza

PRESS RELEASE

Evening of 3rd January, 2011, from Gaza

EGYPT STALLS HUMANITARIAN AID TO GAZA

The ship Salam carrying about 1m $ worth of humanitarian aid for Gaza accompanying the first Asia to Gaza Caravan is not being allowed to dock for reasons as yet unknown at the Al Arish port of Egypt. 8 members of the Caravan, consisting of 4 Indians, Brigadier Sudhir Sawant, former Member of Parliament, Ajit Sahi, senior journalist, Sheheen Kattiparambil, young activist of Jamat-e-Islami, Aslam Khan, student leader of All India Students Association, as well as Koichi Sakaguchi from Japan, Hakim Alizade from Azerbaijan, Muhammad Husein from Indonesia and Norazli Bin Musa from Malaysia, are aboard the ship which left Latakia, Syria, on the morning of 1st January, 2011. The ship has been anchoring about 1 km away from the Al Arish port for about a day now.
Meanwhile over a hundred members of the Caravan have already reached Gaza after a 4 hour hold-up at the Al Arish airport late evening on 2nd January.
The Caravan was apprehensive of interception by Israel, whose two ships and a helicopter followed Salam for almost the whole of daytime on 2nd January. But stalling by Egypt has come as a total surprise. This is the first time that aid for Gaza is being stalled by Egypt.
Contact numbers in Gaza: Feroze Mithiborwala, 0091 9820897517, Mustapa Mansor, 0097 595569914
Contact number on ship: Brigadier Sudhir Sawant, 0091 9869812408



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Some of the activists of the Asian Caravan to Gaza made it through but Egyptian authorities are stopping the aid ship

The Egyptian authorities are preventing the Asian aid ship to dock in Gaza. The ship, Salam, with on board 8 activists from the Caravan has been waiting barely 2 kms away from the port for the last 14 hours and they are running out of supplies. The authorities are demanding exorbitant rates for taxes and unloading facilities.

The activists from the Asian Caravan to Gaza are calling for protests and press conferences all over the world to urge the Egyptian government to allow the aid ship to dock.

The good news is that 110 delegates were allowed into Gaza yesterday around midnight after hours of protests. It seems that all the Iranians delegates as well as some others have been denied the Egyptian visa and were stopped in Syria. Those who could make it through had to fly from Syria to Egypt.

Watch the video of the arrival at Gaza: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwLAlRRiNsE

The Asian Caravan to Gaza arrives in Syria, 20 Dec, 2010 | ایشیا ئی غزہ کاروان کی شام اٌمد

The Asian Caravan to Gaza arrives in Syria, 20 Dec, 2010 | ایشیا ئی غزہ کاروان کی شام اٌمد