PRESS RELEASE – Road to Hope Convoy Reaches Gaza

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PRESS RELEASE

26 November 2010

Road to Hope (R2H) Convoy Reaches Gaza

Despite kidnapping, government obstacles and financial challenges

The Road to Hope Convoy reunited in Egypt after having been split by the Egyptian requirement to charter a ship from Libya to El Arish and the kidnapping of 10 convoy members from Libya to Greece.  3 members of the convoy travelled to Egypt by sea with 30 vehicles and £500,000 of humanitarian aid, 29 convoy members flew in a chartered jet from Libya to El Arish and 3 of the 10 kidnap victims flew from the UK and Greece to Egypt on November 21, 23 and 25, all reuniting on the 25th.  The convoy was subsequently challenged by the Egyptian resistance to the 3 kidnapped convoy members rejoining the convoy, this because they had not flown in with the chartered jet from Libya.  This was not possible however because of their inability to get new passports after having been separated from them against their will.  Importantly, Egypt had approved travel to Gaza for all 3 of these convoy members just days before.

Being unable to negotiate the return of the kidnapped convoy members to the convoy they were compelled to jump into the vans when they proceeded from El Arish Port to Rafah.  When the Egyptian authorities realized that these convoy members were among the entire convoy group at Rafah, they announced that these three would not be able to reach Gaza.  Among these members was Ken O’Keefe, convoy leader and survivor of the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara.  With the entire convoy standing firm, the Egyptian authorities reversed their decision after several hours and the entire convoy passed through to Gaza.

After a demanding and very long 7 week journey the convoy members have been given just over two days to stay in Gaza or risk joining the imprisoned population of Gaza; this is typical of the Egyptian control of the Rafah Crossing.  13members of the convoy were blacklisted by Egypt, including a seventy-year-old children’s entertainer and magician from Wales who was transporting toys for the children of Gaza.  Also blacklisted was a Scottish national who has never left Scotland and has no affiliation with any organization, along with a 19 year-old British national, again with no associations that could be considered prohibitive.  Several survivors of the Mavi Marmara were banned, along with British/Pakistani nationals and previous convoy members.  This trend makes it harder and harder for people to support Palestine and should be considered a part of the overall blockade of Gaza.

The convoy members will do their best to experience as much of Gaza as possible and share with the world the reality of life for people entering four years of a brutal collective punishment policy.  The vehicles and aid will be distributed to various charities and organizations that are doing invaluable work.  Among the aid is medical equipment and medicines, wheel chairs, crutches, toys, clothes footballs and shoes.

Ken O’Keefe will remain in Gaza for 40 days (or longer if imprisoned) and begin daily video reports focusing on the children of Gaza.  These will be posted at his Facebook and Twitter accounts and his blog.

R2H Facts – The Road to Hope humanitarian aid convoy left London on the 10th of October with £500,000 of humanitarian aid for the besieged people of the Gaza Strip.  The convoy travelled with over 100 members and 32 vehicles over 5,000 miles through the UK, France, Spain, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya and Egypt.  Ultimately 35 convoy members reached Gaza due to the lengthy journey and blacklisting.

Contact:

Ken O’Keefe (Gaza) +970 5977 52919

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/1worldcitizen

Twitter – http://twitter.com/1worldcitizen

Blog – http://kenokeefe.wordpress.com/

Comments(11)

  • Ebrahim Musaji
    November 26, 2010, 3:12 pm  

    Assalamualaikum very happy that you have Friday in Gaza, I was not allowed but the Convoy eventually made it with the aid vehicles etc…..my intention was also to stay but when Allah wills something no one can change this….Zafeer has flotilla CDS please give them out to everyone, also i have been watching alot of Gaza on AL KITAB, AL AQSA AND OSTOOL AL HURRIYA CHANNELS in Tabruk, not ready to go back to England yet

  • November 26, 2010, 3:19 pm  

    “Our greatest responsibility is to hand over a better world to all children, and the 800,000 children in Gaza, are my children. I would rather die in pursuit of justice than back down. How can anyone accept the unacceptable!”-Ken O’Keefe

    THANK YOU Ken for your words, works, a heart over flowing with compassion and laying your life down once again for “the least among us” the INNOCENT CHILDREN caught in the crossfire of violence.

  • emma.
    November 26, 2010, 5:23 pm  

    You are all truly amazing…Congratulations.. Please could you send me details of anything and everything you do in future. I would like to donate money by post, by cheque, please if that is possible send me details and direct debt details too. Thank you. I could hug you with all that you have accomplished. Shukaran…Emma

  • November 26, 2010, 8:51 pm  

    Thank you, Ken, for all that you and your sisters and brothers are doing for justice for Palestine.

  • kiwicris
    November 26, 2010, 11:10 pm  

    Well Done Ken and Crew !!!!!!

  • November 27, 2010, 3:34 am  

    الحمدلله
    الله أكبر

  • kathleen
    November 27, 2010, 4:41 am  

    So happy you made it Ken!
    Give Vik a hug for me and any other of our friends from our trip. What a relief you all got in again!

  • James laChance
    November 27, 2010, 1:57 pm  

    Ken, May God be with you in opening the eyes of the strongly delusioned Zionists. We are praying for your safety in Canada.

  • November 29, 2010, 4:48 am  

    Good job…….enjoy yourself together !!!!!!!!

  • Clive Clifton
    February 16, 2011, 12:03 am  

    I have just watched the Jezza Neumann film on War Child about the Gaza children who have and are still suffering from the continuing war. I feel prohibiting toys to these children is wicked and the stories of intimidation and deliberate damaging and destroying fishing boats is uncalled for. Israel please stop this wickedness against children and their families. I’m not saying either side is right but to bully people is an insult to God. God will not be mocked, change now before it’s to late. I cry for His people, all of them.

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