The generosity of the Irish people prevailed again as they reacted quickly to the crisis in Gaza, people from all over Ireland helped to fill 4 containers which were sent from Galway and Cork with essentials for families, medical & hospital equipment as well as computers for schools. They arrived in Egypt on 30th Feb where they got caught up in Egyptian red tape, they got to the Israeli Eloga border last week only to be sent back to the port for another document.
We have now been informed that the Egyptian authorities that they are returning the aid to Ireland!
Treasa NiCheannabhain and Dr El Safty from the Galway Palestine Children’s Appeal have gone to Egypt to endeavor to get the containers over the Rafah crossing into Gaza where they are expected and needed. They are being assisted by Arab Medical Syndicate and the Irish Embassy. They are joined by film maker Dearbhla Glynn who is documenting the stockpile of goods from all over the world stuck at Rafah, the situation in Gaza and the Irish involvement.
John Ging, UN director in Gaza recently said "Until we can get the humanitarian assistance in, in an unfettered way, we can't begin the process of recovery and Gazan mothers and fathers call, not for retaliation, but for protection and accountability "because they're concerned, not just for what has happened, but for what is coming."
It is imperative that the borders and ports are opened and the blockade ended.
During its three-week long attack, Israel devastated the entire infrastructure of the Gaza Strip, killed 1,340 people, 412 were children and another 1890 where injured and 1346 children lost one or both parents during this invasion, there are now over 5,000 orphans in Gaza.
3 months later, more than 100.000 people are still living under tents, on the rubble of their homes, families are in shock & separated, hospitals, schools, factories, houses, sewage & water works have all been destroyed. Israel has only allowed in ONE truck of cement since Nov 08!
Caoimhe Butterly, who worked with the Ambulance service during the war, is also at the Rafah crossing waiting to get out.
"The last two days of being at Rafah, though, have given us a much deeper understanding of the deep humiliation that Palestinians crossing through Rafah have to endure. It's infuriating- the elderly, wounded, trapped students, patients, families- proud, noble people being subjected to such degrading treatment."
She intends to do a speaking tour and gather support for the people of Gaza and the flotilla of cargo boats organized by the Free Gaza Movement who are sailing to break the blockade on Gaza at end of May to deliver the desperately needed cement, rebuilding materials along with generators for the hospitals. On board the Free Gaza boat will be Derek & Jenny Graham from Mayo, who will stay in Gaza to help families rebuild their homes and lives again. They are bringing 10 olympic sailing boats and starting a sailing club for children.
John Hurson from Tyrone successfully delivered a truck and supplies into Gaza with the Viva Palestina convoy in March, he left the Gaza City sports centre with kits from Dungannon GAA, Armagh, Dublin & Sligo and is planning to return in the autumn.
Human rights organizations have recently said that not only Israel but Egypt, the EU - who are supposed to monitor the crossing and the US could be in violation of international law for failing to adhere to the 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access, and consequently violating the basic human rights of Gaza's 1.5 million people -- particularly in the post-war period and especially as half the population are under 18.
When our governments fail to act, we - the citizens of the world - must stand up and make our voices heard.
Mise Le Meas,
Contacts for media for interviews and information -
Treasa NiCheannabhain" , 0020 108824451 - Galway Palestine Children's Appeal
Dearbhla Glynn 0020 184263486 - email@example.com - documentary film maker
Niamh Moloughney - 085 7747257/091 472279 firstname.lastname@example.org
Alan Lonergan - 086 3334378 email@example.com
Tyrone to Gaza - John Hurson - 0044 7875 396335 johnhurson@hotmail,com
FREE GAZA MOVEMENT CREW - www.freegaza.org for more infomation
Caoimhe Butterly , 00972 598273960 and +20121 027 072
Ewa Jasiewicz 00972 598700497, firstname.lastname@example.org
derek graham , Derek Graham 00357 99262741 mobile/00357 2510 2723 landline in Cyprus
email@example.com>, Greta Berlin - media team,
firstname.lastname@example.org, - Hawaida Arraf