DAY 32: El-Arish to GAZA!

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32 days – 13 Countries – 4,163 Miles

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NEWS FROM THE ROAD...

Day 32 – Wednesday Jan 6 2010

Final Stats: 31 days 1,755,698 views 259,853 people – Click above to read our message...

The Last Word(s)…

@YorktoGaza – 8pm:
YORK TO GAZA ARE IN GAZA Tears of happiness over phone, flowers all over the ambulance sooo sooo happy yipee! They are in!!!! Hooray!

@Zhat – 11pm:
The eagle has landed… we r in Gaza!

@juanajaafar – 11pm:
PGPO is entering Gaza! Sign says “Welcome to Palestine” 😀 …

@PGPOrg – 11pm:
after 4 weeks and 4000 miles, we are now in gaza! pgpo and viva palestina’s mission accomplished

@Pal_S_Campaign – 9pm:
We are on Palestinian soil! The air genuinely smells sweet, the palm trees are beautiful – we are with the bravehearts of Gaza! The moon is a lemon slice above Gaza City, the Palestinians have come out in their 1000’s to welcome us. We are home, we are home.

@CorktoGaza – ??pm:
Finally arrived in Gaza!

@Irish4Palestine & Derry to Gaza – 8pm:
JUST SAW THEM CROSS OVER!!! presstv spoke to them, bless!!!!! Up da Derry Lads :):):):):):):) – WATCH!

@l2g09 – 12am:
We have entered Gaza on the 31st day,its been a long hard journey but we’re all here now…

@GAZA 1858EET 1658GMT


@1700GMT – Headline on Al Jazeera

@1658GMT – First Vehicles Enter Gaza!

5pm: NEXT STOP GAZA!

Convoy is moving at less than snail’s pace through gates of port compound, bound for Gaza. Every passport being checked. – @Pal_S_Campaign

Some vehicles moving – but at snails’ pace – @YorktoGaza

BLOG! Joti2Gaza@NewInt: Faith and frustration & Green Party: .. developments in Gaza as aid convoy attacked & Peoples Voice: Blocking Freedom Marcher/Viva Palestina Aid to Gaza

4pm: Clashes intensifying at the border 35 PLEs now injured…

15 convoy members who were held by the police last night have been released. Their prison was a van outside our compound. – @Pal_S_Campaign

Beautiful sundown at Port Elarish where all hell broke loose night before. Can’t wait to get out of this hole. Vehicles very slowly exiting port gates now, heading to Rafah, insyaAllah… Our detained Msian student is back! @juanajaafar

NEWS! Clashes at Rafah: AJE & Press TV & CNN: One dead in aid convoy clash on Egypt, Gaza border

BLOG! About last night… great update from Derry to Gaza Boys

UK NEWS! BBC: Egypt police clash with Gaza aid convoy activists & The Independent: Gaza convoy Britons ‘beaten by Egyptian police’ & The Guardian: Egyptian police clash with Gaza aid convoy

2pm: ever closer…

Galloway challenged in open convoy mtg to resign leadership! Delivered food ration to 7 of our prisioners. Waiting for them to be let out of truck so they can defecate!@Zhat

Briefing by Galloway. “We will now proceed to Gaza”. 1.5mil ppl in Gaza praying for our arrival; were watching us for 5 hrs on news. Galloway says EGY releasing detainees, will come with us to Gaza. But EGY has forced convoy 59 vehicles behind tho not the same 59 listed yesterday. The vehicles that not going Gaza will be taken by TURs to be given to PLE refugee camps in LEB and SYR. This decision is to avoid giving To Israel as EGY asked to do yesterday. Of the 59, 43 are those bought by USAs as specifically requested by doctors in Gaza + pickups, 4x4sAll other vehicles [more than 150 + aid] will enter Gaza. Those whose vehicles not allowed will travel with group to Gaza by bus. Convoy allowed to stay in Gaza for 48 hours. Last night 55 reported injuries on convoy side. Those taken to hospital are now back with us.Galloway said he is proud of those who fought back last night. Am not interested in poli speeches so this is it from me on the morn brief. We’ve been told we’ll have 48 hours in Gaza, but negs still ongoing about how many of our vehicles we can take in. – @juanajaafar

1pm: PICTURE! the morning after… & a swap:

Convoy still not moving. Will have to leave the sixty vehicules in exchange for six arrested. – @YorktoGaza

RELATIVES! CALL FCO: 020 7008 1500 / FCO’s EGYPT DESK: 020 7008 0183 / UK Consulate in Cairo 00 20 2279 16000 / CREW REPORTS… ALL UK & IE CREWS *OK*

NEWS! Latest Press TV reports


@1000GMT – In-depth attack report

@1100GMT – Hassan & Yousef

12pm: on the move?

Thanking everyone for all their support yesterday. Everything OK here. We are leaving for Rafah within hours for 48 hour stay inside Gaza. Till we enter we won’t know if it’s true or not. Things are settled here now so all looks good. Will text when in Gaza. – Derry to Gaza

hearing convoy accepted to leave 59 vehicles behind. Turkey to hold them @Irish4Palestine

The dust has cleared after last night’s clash with the police, and we’re preparing to leave for Rafah. We’ve been told we’ll have 48 hours in Gaza, but negs still ongoing about how many of our vehicles we can take in. – @Pal_S_Campaign

Jan 5: El-Ambush– click for more pictures

11am:

All’s calm this morning tho police vehicles still blocking gates. Our group leaders have told us we are likely to drive to Gaza today. – @juanajaafar

.. last night scary with tyres burning & some vehicles getting smashed… Got ambulance v close 2 others 2 make diff[icult] 2 swing crowbar at windows. Diff 2 get out too. Said all seems 2 have bn stage-managed – @YorktoGaza

NEWS! Reuters: Egypt police clash with Gaza relief convoy members

CONVOY! Leah from Alpha-team in This is Local London: Council worker forced home from Gaza aid trip + a message from Leah…

I had to watch you all leave Aqaba after more than 3 weeks with the convoy. Shocked to read about the appalling behaviour of the Egyptians – will do all I can to alert media; has already gone round usual contacts and emails are flooding into the Embassy. I am with you in my heart. All my love – Leah

10am:

Recovering after riot police attack last night. All convoy remain in compound at El Arish. Still hope to reach Gaza today… Difficult night,many injured-not us. Negotiations took place & looks like we might go into #Gaza today. – @YorktoGaza

NEWS! UK’s PA: Gaza aid Brits ‘beaten by police’

9am: departing soon?

Uneasy truce since last nite. Still heavy presence of riot police n our exit barricaded. Were promised exit to gaza at 8am – but no sign … – @Zhat

BLOG+NEWS! MEMO‘s piece on Al Jazeera:

Viva Palestina’s bumpy road

Egypt has had every opportunity to redeem and to recast itself in the role of the hero. Instead they have needlessly and voluntarily cast themselves in the role of villain. – Read more…

NEWS! Malaysia’s Bernama: More Than 10 Injured, Seven Arrested, Including A Malaysian

4am: Refuge…

It’s 415am here. We been camping in our vehicles. Some took refuge in the mosque. Riot police still outside gate + 3 water cannon trucks… Calm now but the mood is shit. Some mbers also not happy how few othrs reacted to EGY provocation saying we have driven this far in peace. 4 record: Msian boy detained only taking pix at the gates, not involved any other way. Our group mate fr GBR detained was also just filming @juanajaafar

OGFM! Consistent: Egyptian police beat Gaza peace activists

3am: Standoff.

Siege mentality prevails in El-Arish compound amid high tension of retributory attacks, hostage taking, etc. Things can really get out o[f control] – @Zhat

BLOG! lwtc247: “10,000 protestors are outside the Egyptian embassy in Ankara.”

NEWS! Maan: Convoy blocks entrance to Egyptian port following riot & SKY News (a first!): MP George Galloway In Egyptian Police Riot

NEWS! 3rd Press TV report of the attack

1.30am:

Our crew physically ok, sounded shaken. Started whn Egypt said big vehicles & trucks had to b given to ISRAEL! Galloway said no. Eg negotiator walked out. 5 mins later riot police turned up. Trouble seemed 2 start wn plain clothed Egypt police in compound started stirring things Thn riot police came in Mike & others vouch for this.

Galloway made a speech and calmed things down. Now everything is quiet. Team have been using bandages etc from ambulance…. saw the person stretchered off but doesn’t know more about this…. there is a mosque in the port and that is where people are being treated @YorktoGaza

Things are quiet now. Injured are reluctant to be taken to hospital unless Galloway guarantees EGY autho gives safe passage. 1 person just got rolled out on a stretcher. @juanajaafar

BLOG! Lots of detail from Derry to Gaza…

Tear gas, water cannons rock throwing, they are under full on attack… whole thing happened when convoy members were still locked inside this gated compound, then suddenly a very large group of plain clothes “people” arrived at the compound with sticks and stones… 20 members were injured in the attack and there are some people for the convoy who are missing and cannot be found. – @Irish4Palestine

1am:

All quiet for now. Six arrested, lots of head wounds as cops started the rock throwing. One serious injury stretchered out. – @Joti2Gaza

WE NEED YOU TO CONTACT THE MEDIAPROTECTING OURSELVES BY BLOCKING ENTRANCE TO COMPOUND WITH TRUCK.@Peter2Gaza NOW.

12.45am: Peter2Gaza’s timeline…

i was coming back from dinner with 8 brothers and sisters. approximetly 30 riot police approached us & started harassing pushing and hitting us. the situation escalated. we tried to lock arms and hold eachother and get to the gate. there were too many of them.

two meters from the gate they separated us and beat the shit out of us. i got dragged under and into a group of the riot police and was being beaten. managed to get to the wall. as i was being beaten one of the brothers grabbed me from across the wall and put me into the compound.

of the nine of us, four are missing i dont know what has happened to them. there are other stories like this. do not know if anyone was killed. they appear to be targetting middle-eastern looking people. shame on you. – @Peter2Gaza

NEWS! Israel’s YNetNews: 3 injured in clashes between police and pro-Palestinians

12.30am:

Calm now. Galloway speaking to us, explicitly named EGY regime as instigator of violence. Said now the world can see who is responsible For Gaza siege. We have bend over backwards to come to Elarish cause EGY said we’d be welcomed here, instead welcomed with violence Galloway here with TUR MPs to negotiate movement of convoy since 530pm local time.

EGY asked for 59 of our vehicles to give to Israel. 59 vehicles = 25% of our convoy which includes 2 big trucks from GBR and TUR. This contradicts written agreement EGY gave to TURs in AqabaEGY negotiator left meet room after Viva rejected demand to surrender 59 vehicles to Israel. Soonest he left the riot police closed in on us…

Galloway says Viva has video taken from meeting room to show special police starting violence. Police then threw stones at meeting room Window almost injuring TUR MP. High level nego now being done by TUR gov. Convoy still determined to enter Gaza. Arrested are from GRB, USA, Msia and Kuwaiti. – @juanajaafar

NEWS! First 2 Press TV reports of the attack:


@2200GMT – Hassan’s 1st Attack Report

@2300GMT – Hassan’s 2nd Attack Report

12am:

Instigators started moving in from within the police lines and moved on the inside of the police side of the barricades. Convoy mbers were Sitting on the ground when shouts from police lines started and then wham, hell. Just helped bandage a friend’s head Some people are missing including a Msian student who came on his own from the UK. We are trying to find him. He may be arrested – @juanajaafar

Full blown riots have now ended! For now that is. – @l2g09

Full-on battles between convoy boys and Egyptian riot cops. Tear gas, water cannons, rocks throwing. – @Joti2Gaza

All hell has broken lose at the port. Shit flying around and police spraying and gassing. We’re in the gates – @juanajaafar

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