CAROLINE LUCAS' Statement
06 January 2010
Caroline Lucas said ‘I am deeply concerned by the news that the Viva Palestina humanitarian aid convoy has come under attack from the Egyptian security forces while being held up in the port of Al-Arish. Reports have been coming through from the convoy of numerous injuries and some arrests.
‘The convoy of aid vehicles set off in December to break to current blockade of Gaza and deliver much needed humanitarian aid to its imprisoned population. Since reaching Egypt the convoy has had numerous obstacles and diversions put in its way by the Egyptian authorities.'
The Viva Palestina/ Palestine Solidarity Convoy of 210 aid vehicles is carrying medical supplies, food and educational materials. The Egyptian government has now made it impossible for all the vehicles to enter Gaza through the Rafah Crossing. They are instead requiring that some of the vehicles pass from Egypt to Israel, and then from Israel into Gaza via an Israeli-controlled checkpoint. There is no guarantee that Israel will let them through to the Gaza strip (1).
Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur stated last month that 'two urgent priorities must be stressed on this dismal anniversary: first, Israel 's allies must demand, with a commitment reinforced by a credible threat of economic sanctions, that Israel immediately end its illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip. Second, the Goldstone Report's recommendations, having confirmed the commission of war crimes possibly amounting to Crimes Against Humanity, by Israel and Hamas, must be fully and swiftly implemented.' (2).
Read more about the convoy at http://vivapalestina.org