Larnaca: Tomorrow afternoon at 5:00 pm, the DIGNITY leaves for the third time for the shores of Gaza. This time, eleven past and current members of the European Parliament are on board, along with journalists from Al Jazeera English and The Independent.
These dignitaries were among the 53 Parliamentarians denied entrance by Egypt at the Rafah checkpoint.
"Egypt did not allow us to enter Gaza via the Rafah terminal, but this will not stop us from visiting the area," Lord Nazir Ahmad, head of the European delegates stated, "We will sail to Gaza, we are determined to break the siege".
Ms Clare Short MP emphasized, "The Egyptian refusal to grant us access through Rafah Crossing is insulting to all of us, and Egypt should open the crossing now."
They will be on a three-day fact finding tour organized by the Free Gaza Movement and the European Campaign to End the Siege as well as several of the organizations in Gaza who have worked with the Free Gaza Movement on the past two voyages.
On the past two trips, Israel has threatened to stop the DIGNITY, arrest its passengers and tow the boat to Israel. The government has been silent on its plans this time, perhaps out of respect for the dignitaries on the voyage. Members of the two organizations stress that the DIGNITY has no intention of going anywhere near Israeli waters but will enter Gaza through its own coastal waters.
The port authorities have asked the media to come between 3:30 and 5:00 pm Friday at Larnaca Port to see the boat leave and to conduct interviews.
The passenger list is posted on the Free Gaza website, www.freegaza.org.
Contact: Mary Hughes, Cyprus +357 96 75 00 59
Greta Berlin, Cyprus: +357 99 08 17 67
Osama Qashoo, +44 78 33 38 16 60
Angela Godfrey Goldstein, Jerusalem: +972 547 366 393