Asia to Gaza Breaks the Siege, Still Egypt Blocks the Aid Ship

1301 days into Israel’s illegal siege, the Asia to Gaza convoy has managed to cross into Gaza.

The convoy’s aid cargo was expected to arrive in Gaza later in the day, after travelling separately from Syria to Egypt by boat. … Egyptian authorities had prevented several activists from entering Gaza at the Rafah border crossing. … The boat is carrying $US1 million worth of medicine, foodstuffs and toys as well as four buses and 10 power generators for hospitals, Palestinian officials said.

A couple of hours later, Egypt is still not permitting the aid ship to dock.

Egyptian authorities have prevented an Asian convoy’s ship carrying humanitarian aid and activists from reaching the Gaza Strip.

The ship has not allowed to dock at the Egyptian port of El Arish.

The vessel, which is part of a sizeable pro-Palestinian relief mission, is said to be carrying eight activists as well as $1 million worth of relief supplies for the Israel-blockaded Gaza Strip.

“Egypt still didn’t allow the aid ship to dock. It is 50 hours,” dpa quoted the activists as saying on Monday, noting that they are in a “bad situation.”

UPDATE

@Asia2Gaza 8 activists suffered 65 hours on #Asia2Gaza aid ship until #Egypt allowed ship to dock by receiving 10000$ bribe! #

In Kensington, England, protestors draw attention to Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people of Gaza.

What will the convoy find in Gaza? Two years after Israel’s monstrous Cast Lead attack on Gaza’s 1.5 million people, the water which Gazans drink is largely unsafe for human consumption.

The water quality control authority in the Gaza Strip said that more than 90% of the Strip’s potable water was contaminated, warning of a serious threat to lives of the Strip’s inhabitants.

The report published on Monday said that the Palestinian citizens were increasingly using home desalination and purification systems especially with the high concentration of chlorine in the water wells.

It noted that the sewage water, agricultural chemicals, and “dangerous waste” spewed by the former Israeli settlements in the Strip were contaminating the underground water reservoir.

The report said that the people in Gaza consume 170 million cubic meters of the underground water per annum with no equal natural feeding of the water wells due to the scarcity of rain.

In the West Bank, the zionist apartheid state has been on a rampage, demolishing Palestinian homes and electricity structures to make way for invading colonists who steal Palestinian land for more illegal settlements.

Israel’s Civil Administration patrols on Sunday delivered 17 demolition orders to an extended family near the West Bank city of Jericho, residents said.

Members of the Az-Zayed family received orders to demolish a mosque, electricity infrastructure and tents north of An-Nuwei’ma village.

The electricity structures slated for demolition were recently installed by the Palestinian Authority at a cost of 79,000 shekels ($22,225)

North of Sheikh Jarrah, in Lafta village, the zionist oppressor demolished part of a Palestinian home, leaving a family of 9 to “live in one bedroom, one lounge and a corridor”.

Seyam told Ma’an a legal dispute began in 2004, when he received a demolition order which was frozen three times. The Jerusalem municipality said his license was conditional on submitting a plan for the surrounding area, which he could not afford.

On Wednesday, Israeli forces demolished 11 structures in the At-Tur neighborhood of East Jerusalem, which authorities said were constructed without permits.

Palestinians say it is virtually impossible to secure Israeli permission to build in East Jerusalem.

In late December, two Palestinian families destroyed their own homes in compliance with Israeli demolition orders.

Director of UNRWA Operations West Bank Barbara Shenstone said the families opted to demolish their own homes rather than wait for Jerusalem municipality to do so because a municipal demolition would cost them up to 120,000 shekels ($33,389).

“These condemnable acts have a devastating impact,” Shenstone said in a statement at the time.

“While children around the world are enjoying the holiday season in their homes, these children have suffered the trauma and indignity of watching their homes destroyed in the presence of their parents. It is extremely cruel and distressing.”

On 23 December, Maxwell Gaylard, the UN humanitarian coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory, offered his own condemnation after visiting the site of a home that had been demolished 24 hours earlier.

“The destruction of this home and the displacement of these people raises serious concerns with regard to Israel’s obligations under international law,” he said.

“These actions have a severe social and economic impact on the lives and welfare of Palestinians and increase their dependence on humanitarian assistance,” he added.

“The government of Israel must take immediate steps to cease demolitions and evictions in the West Bank, including east Jerusalem.”

And from Bil’in, whose non-violent protesting inhabitants suffered a despicable attack by the Israeli Occupation Forces a couple of days ago, Mohammad Khatib writes:

“…my next letter will likely be written from inside a prison cell”

At the threshold of the New Year, I write to wish you a new year of freedom and liberation. This has been an unbelievable year for me in both highs and lows. A year during which I have witnessed how, despite repression, ordinary people all across Palestine take to the streets for freedom.

In my village, Bil’in, thousands of people marched on the Wall today to take it down. During the demonstration, one protestor, a 36 year old resident of the village, Jawaher Abu-Rahmah, was critically injured by severe tear-gas inhalation. She is currently hospitalized in Ramallah, unresponsive to medical treatment as the doctors are fighting for her life. [The morning after this was written, Jawaher lost her life. Cause of death: Poisoning from over exposure to CS gas.]

Bil’in has been struggling for almost six years against the Wall that was built on our lands. The illegality and absurdity of this wall has been recognized worldwide, and even by the Israeli Supreme Court, which ruled it must be dismantled over three years ago. Yet the Wall still stands. We, the people of Bil’in, the people of Palestine, have waited enough. Today was therefore declared by the Bil’in Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements as the last day of the Wall. Together with our supporters, we managed to bring a substantial part of the wall down but we still have a long way to go.

On a personal note, the beginning of 2011 also strikes notes of fear. In just a few days, on January 3rd, 2011, my trial in front of an Israeli military court will draw into conclusion. Captain Sharon Rivlin, the soldier-judge presiding in my case, will hand down my verdict. If found guilty of “incitement”, my next letter will likely be written from inside a prison cell; If found guilty, despite having proved that evidence against me was falsified, I will proudly join my friend and comrade,Abdallah Abu Rahmah, who is now spending his second new year’s eve behind bars. PSCC’s media coordinator, my friend and brother in struggle, Israeli activist Jonathan Pollak, will also be going to prison, again, for three months on January 11th, for protesting Israel’s siege on Gaza.

We are all facing tremendous challenges, as individuals and as a movement. It is our pride and strength that keeps us going. It is your support and involvement, which is becoming more crucial than ever. Join us – take our struggle forward, so that the year of 2011 will become an historical year of Palestinian liberation and a just peace.

In solidarity,
Mohammad Khatib

Palestine / Israel Links

Palestinians to pressure US with UN resolution
Second Palestinian dies on Israeli roadblock in W. Bank
Canadian Boat to Gaza campaign is legal, ethical, and necessary
Global silence over 7000 Palestinian prisoners
Who will teach Israeli Jewish kids that the world hates them?
We will not go down, for the Gaza tonight
Pirate Party Bilin Report Public Pad
Breaking the Israel-Palestine Deadlock
Kensington Vigil for Gaza 2 years on
The Wall In Palestine [vid]
Legal official slams bill that would expel Israelis’ foreign partners with undetermined residency status

Wikileaks Links

Not trusting Sweden
WikiLeaks: US targets EU over GM crops
Bradley Manning : Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Speedy Trial
2011-1-4: James Richardson’s Collateral Damage in the Guardian: WikiLeaks & Tsvangirai
2011-01-03 PsySR Open Letter on PFC Bradley Manning’s Solitary Confinement
Psychologists protest ‘inhumane, harmful’ treatment of Bradley Manning
The Rove/Assange Story Hits the International Press in Sweden
Window on Eurasia: ‘Wikileak-ization’ of Media Transforming Russian Politics, Analyst Says

Other Links

Global Warming by Banksy
A New Year’s Plea to Close Guantánamo by a Clear-Sighted American
The Toppling: How the Media Inflated the Fall of Saddam’s Statue in Firdos Square
Dear Australian Retailers
More Retailer Fascism: The internal email from Revealed: retailers’ secret tax strategy
Belmarsh – Britain’s Guantanamo Bay?
Continued detention of Papuan prisoners violates basic rights
Chewing Gum for Terrorists
Nuclear war: Iran snubs US, invites Russia, China
Are we living in the end times? – Slavoj Zizek with Riz Khan
The Internet is far too valuable to become an agent of Washington’s digital diplomats.

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