Road to Hope convoy stalled at Egyptian border

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Road to Hope convoy stalled at Egyptian border

The Road to Hope humanitarian aid convoy continues its role in the international community’s collective mission to break the illegal siege of Gaza and deliver desperately needed aid to the people of Palestine in Gaza.  The convoy comprises 30 vehicles and 101 humanitarian aid workers.  Among them are 8 survivors of the Israeli attack on the Freedom Flotilla, 7 of them were aboard the Mavi Marmara, including Ken O’Keefe who was involved in disarming two Israeli commandos.  The convoy has travelled four and a half thousand miles and is currently located at the Libyan / Egyptian border. As it stands the convoy finds itself at a standstill, with direct communication with the outside world being limited, and access to the internet very difficult.

It has always been a central aspect of the Road to Hope convoy that it acts in a non-political, non-confrontational manner.  To work with and cooperate with every government in every country through which it travelled.  Thus far this approach has rewarded it with exceptional receptions in every nation.  All of the North African governments have been extremely accommodating and the people of each nation even more so.  We must give special praise to the Libyan government for its constant support; when the convoy have had challenges, including breakdowns of vehicles, the authorities here have provided the means to repair those vehicles and continue our mission.

Ken O’Keefe: “Now we find ourselves in our third day at the Libyan / Egyptian border and we remain hopeful that the land route will be opened to us in the coming days”.  The convoy departed from London with the understanding that the land crossing through Egypt had not been closed to it. Convoy leader, Kieran Turner: “One reason for our optimism that we will travel the land route is the fact that the Al Quds convoy, a Libyan convoy also delivering aid to Gaza, is set to travel the land route in the coming days.  For several weeks we have hoped to join our convoys and travel together.”  However, the convoy is awaiting permission from the Egyptian authorities to pass through Egypt in this way.

Mr. Turner understands that there is a possibility the Egyptian government will deny the convoy the land route, in which case they will have only two acceptable options —

1)    To press on via the land border without permission, at which time our only chance of success will be by way of significant international pressure and a reversal of a policy which tacitly supports the illegal siege of Gaza.

2)    If the land route is denied the only remaining option is to deliver our aid by sea.  This option inherently requires significant increases in the cost of our mission, and importantly, to all subsequent aid missions.  The end result of this policy is a reduction in the already limited resources that can be brought to bear for the people of Palestine.

The convoy leadership urge the Egyptian authorities to allow us safe passage to Gaza by land in the coming days, allow the convoy to join the Al Quds convoy, and ultimately increase the “easing” of the blockade which continues to collectively punish the people of Gaza.

Mr. Ken O’Keefe calls on all the supporters of Palestine “to support Road to Hope and the Al Quds convoys by spreading awareness of our missions and encouraging Egyptian cooperation”.

Contacts:

Primary contact: London – Eleanor Merton +44 777 037 6701

Libya / Egypt – Kieran Turner +44 779 22 66 111 (interviews in Libya available if the roaming costs are covered.)

The children of Libya

Comments(56)

  • Gail Coleman
    October 31, 2010, 12:56 am  

    I will call anyone you think would be helpful. Just let me know and I will spread the word too. I am in the U.S. and not able to leave my kids to go on a convoy or flotilla. but, oh I admire you all so! Anything I could do by phone or internet to help would be an honor!

    • October 31, 2010, 1:05 am

      Thank you very much Gail.
      TJP

      • Issidore Jacob
        October 31, 2010, 7:58 am

        Insha Allah…You do a great job….I read over and over again any news about Palestine,and about you all who help it,and every time i am amazed how much compassionate are you…when we will be old…you will be happy, your life meant so much for the others….Lucky you…

  • October 31, 2010, 1:45 am  

    Dear Ken,
    Would it be a good idea to contact the Egyptian Embassy in Washington, D.C? Is there anyone else you would like me to contact? I would really like to help you out. Good luck!

    Susan El-Zaatari

    • October 31, 2010, 3:52 pm

      Much appreciated sister, please do what you can. It would be great to flood the embassies with statements of support. Thank you very much.
      TJP

  • October 31, 2010, 2:55 am  

    Ken, I hope you all get good news soon. I will be calling the Egyptian Embassy to demand your safe passage to Gaza and encouraging others to do the same. Failing that hopefully we can organise some form of protest at the Egyptian Embassy if you wish. We have held back from action not knowing the wishes of Road to Hope and were concerned about any actions making things more difficult. Say the word though and we will get onto it. Best wishes to you all from everyone at Ride to Gaza. Salaam

    • October 31, 2010, 4:03 pm

      Yes it is time to put some pressure on, but, I see great opportunity to bring ship after ship after ship to Gaza via Egypt. I certainly am prepared to move forward despite the past history of collaboration. So if Egypt is serious about receiving all aid then this is a serious step in the right direction. Please make that part of your protest/demands.
      TJP

  • Birgit Lenderink
    October 31, 2010, 3:24 am  

    Here is a list of embassies and consulates of egypt around the world:
    http://www.touregypt.net/usconsulates.htm

    And here is how to e-mail the Egypt embassy in Washinton DC:

    Email: Embassy@egyptembassy.net

    • Brenda
      October 31, 2010, 5:29 pm

      Thank you for the websites. Ken Thank you and the crew for all you do. We love all of you.. Peace , Love & hope .. Bren

  • Iman Badawi
    October 31, 2010, 4:08 am  

    Salams Ken, I’m an Egyptian activist and reporter I’ve sent you a message on FB. We’ve been trying to contact any of the convoy members to see how we can help and put pressure on the Eg. gov. from here. Please, get back to me. Thank you very much for everything

  • Birgit Lenderink
    October 31, 2010, 4:08 am  

    I just sent this to the Egyptian Ambassador in Washington DC
    Dear Ambassador Shoukry,
    At this moment the “Road to Hope” Convoy is waiting for permission to pass through your country so that they may complete their journey to Gaza to deliver desperately needed aid there.
    The convoy comprises 30 vehicles and 101 humanitarian aid workers.
    They have travelled four and a half thousand miles and are currently located at the Libyan / Egyptian border, awaiting permission to enter Egypt. They have been waiting for 3 days already.
    The International community urges the Egyptian authorities to allow the Convoy safe passage to Gaza by land as soon as possible.
    Please Sir, do whatever you can to help bring this mission to a successful conclusion.
    I thank you from the bottom of my heart,
    Birgit Lenderink.

    • October 31, 2010, 4:57 pm

      Well said, thank you. Keep ’em coming.

      • Birgit Lenderink
        October 31, 2010, 7:36 pm

        translation of french text:
        I want to say congratulations for everything you do. I hope you reach Gaza quickly. We must maintain pressure and ensure that the situation in Gaza can not be reduced to 10 iseconds on the breaking news ..

    • November 1, 2010, 10:14 am

      Embassy@egyptembassy.net
      and
      consulte@egyptembassy.net
      aren’t good addresses – they bounce.

      ANYONE please inform of good email addresses.

      Thank you for your sample letter, Birgit. 🙂

  • Ahmed A. Alnajjar
    October 31, 2010, 4:09 am  

    Salam brother Ken,
    Regards to you and all the brave brothers at your end.
    I am so sorry for your situation! Our Egyptian brothers should have given you the needed permission a long time ago! I dont advise you to press on the land without a permit! This would not lead to Gaza! You will be all registered as persona non grata and you will never be able to get into Egypt!
    You need to use all contacts you have to put more pressure on Egypt to allow you. I advise you to call upon the King of Bahrain or the King of Saudi Arabia or the Leader of Qatar to help you by the money needed to go to Alarish!
    I wish you all the best of luck
    Your brother, Ahmed

    • October 31, 2010, 4:59 pm

      Thank you brother, we are following this line, we are very optimistic that not only Road to Hope, but many, many more shipments will be heading to Gaza via Egypt.

  • Birgit Lenderink
    October 31, 2010, 4:24 am  

    Unfortunately that e-mail is not valid. will work on getting something that works.

  • Qais Yousef
    October 31, 2010, 5:42 am  

    Our heroes, I’m sure that you gonna make it, you have a noble aim, you are in a peaceful mission, thus definitely you will make it.
    We are behind you, all of our appreciations and support for you.

    Peace, and Love for all of you.
    Qais

    • October 31, 2010, 5:01 pm

      Things looking much more positive now, keep pressure on, we feel very confident we will proceed to Gaza.

  • October 31, 2010, 6:57 am  

    Shared–!

    Salaam ‘Alaikum,
    May God bless you and make you succeed. Ameen.

    Wa Salaam,
    Umm Hajar

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Umm-Hajar-Occupied-With-Palestine/144257148953808

  • Karim
    October 31, 2010, 9:14 am  

    Great job, now make sure 50 such convoys starts their travel towards Gaza every day and might make a tiny diffrence.
    Gaza Strip Weekly Crossing Report for October 17th-23rd, 25 Oct 2010
    During this period, a total of 1,083 truckloads crossed from Israel, carrying 23,036 tons of goods, humanitarian aid and development assistance for Gaza’s civilian population.

    In addition, 1,876,878 liters of Heavy-Duty Diesel fuel were transferred to the Gaza Power Plant and UNRWA, 825 tons of cooking gas, and 6 truckloads of iron and cement were transferred into the Strip.

  • October 31, 2010, 9:27 am  

    Ken,
    Great work brother.
    Let me know what we can do in the UK and I’ll get on it.
    You carry the hope of the world.
    Big love
    Jonathan
    x

    • October 31, 2010, 5:02 pm

      Thank you my brother, we as people of conscience are the masters of our fate.

  • October 31, 2010, 1:27 pm  

    Je tiens à vous dire bravo pour tout ce que vous faites. J’espère que vous atteindrez Gaza rapidement. Il faut maintenir la pression et faire en sorte que la situation à Gaza ne se réduise pas à 10 sc dans les flashs d’information..

    • October 31, 2010, 5:03 pm

      If someone can translate this to English please do.

      • Mary Frenzel
        November 3, 2010, 6:55 pm

        @Ken O’Keefe: from Houhou “I want to say Bravo for everything you do. I hope that you will reach Gaza quickly. It is necessary to continue the pressure and make a way so that the situation in Gaza isn’t reduced to 10 seconds of information (news) flashes.”

  • October 31, 2010, 1:39 pm  

    salam
    i am egypian jornalist (correspondent) in QUDS PREES (london) and need to hnow about your situation in libya and dificuls u face
    what is ur next step ? if egypt still close borders to gaza ?
    thanks a lot
    i ,and evry muslim, recpect ur COURAGE

  • Ahmed
    October 31, 2010, 2:51 pm  

    Welcome to Egypt.

  • Terrance Newton
    October 31, 2010, 4:43 pm  

    Notify me on which individuals in Egypt or the US I should contact to help break the seige on Gaza.

  • October 31, 2010, 5:00 pm  

    I will call the Egyptian Consulate on Michigan Ave
    and propose to the Chicago chapter of the US Boat to Gaza coalition do the same .

    • October 31, 2010, 5:05 pm

      Thank you Padraig.

  • Brenda
    October 31, 2010, 5:38 pm  

    I will e-mail whoever it takes to help. As well as make any phone calls needed to be made. just let me know and it will be done

  • Iman Badawi
    October 31, 2010, 7:05 pm  

    Ken, it’s me again, I’ve send u and I send sms to 3 of the convoy members, Gamal Arafa a well known correspondant to may news agencies wrote to u too and no body’s answering us the Egyptian activists and reporters who have experience about the Eg. gov and convoyes. I wonder why?

  • Iman Badawi
    October 31, 2010, 8:42 pm  

    Thanks Ken, i got your anawer now. With all the respect and gratitude for all you’re doing.

  • Jose
    October 31, 2010, 11:40 pm  

    I live in US Los Angeles Area how can I help ???

    • November 1, 2010, 12:51 pm

      Writing the Egyptian Embassy is good, spreading the word. Thank you Jose.

  • AdnanHassan
    November 1, 2010, 5:38 am  

    Egyptian Embassy in Malaysia will be contacted now & repeatiously concerning Bro Ken & convoys calamities. Stay in the best of health BRO’S.

  • November 1, 2010, 6:27 am  

    Courage, Perseverance, Patience. Is there some way to set up vigils @ Egyptian Embassies in San Francisco, New York, and D.C.?

    • November 1, 2010, 12:54 pm

      I would wait on this, if we find ourselves in a bad spot then yes this would be very helpful. As it stands our communication with Egypt is very good, I am optimistic we will set off in the not too distant future.

  • Karim
    November 1, 2010, 9:34 am  

    On your way Back from Gaza it would be great if you could have a look at slums of Cairo and perhaps import some goods from well stocked Gaza to help them. Those people Do not have UNRWA to cater for their every need.

    • Iman Badawi
      November 1, 2010, 1:26 pm

      Why don’t you say that to Mubarak and his gang who are stealing, detaining and killing us and our neighbors in Gaza.
      Iman Badawi from Egypt

      • Karim
        November 1, 2010, 1:34 pm

        Shhhhh….I guess no one told you yet, you are not allowed to say out loud that Egypt is also apart of the blockade, only the Jews must be blamed. If you want to criticize Muslims, you have to do it in Arabic so outsiders must not understand.

      • November 1, 2010, 4:50 pm

        People. Are thought we all wanted the same thing – to help those in need.
        Everyone knows (I hope) that Egypt is a client state manipulated just as most others are. That doesn’t mean there aren’t ordinary noble Egyptians who deplore its country’s actions, just as there are ordinary noble Britons who feel the same way about their own government.
        Lest stop sniping at each other and get on with the job.
        No one left behind.
        Jonathan
        x

      • Iman Badawi
        November 1, 2010, 7:14 pm

        I absolutely agree with you Jonathan. You, Ken and everyone here are the noble free people of the world. We can not do without your help. I’m an Egyptian activist and reporter; look at our photos and videos of the sit-in at Rafah border for 2 month last year.
        “International Movement to Open Rafah Border” http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=9986479902
        I’m also a cyber activist and I’m a member in several special forums. Take my word for it; this Karim is a zionist sitting at on the settlements in occupied Palestine. I have 10 years experience with zionists and arabs on the net and I’m an expert on how they both talk, it isn’t hard for any of you to find that out either. They’re so stupid they never learn. So, what we’re going to do is to ignore this zionist Karim and concentrate on how to help this convoy and I hope that Ken would ban him. I contacted Ken and I gave him some advice as I’ve been with and in contact with many convoys before and as an Egyptian I know how the gov. think and do in such cases.
        Thank you all for everything you’re doing.
        http://justicenownetwork.blogspot.com/2009/02/palestinian-victims-of-criminal-israel.html
        http://justicenownetwork.blogspot.com/2009/02/palestinian-kids-victims-of-israeli.html

      • patience
        November 6, 2010, 3:27 am

        Hey salams karim and iman….Nice topic…The world is suffering right now. at the hands of crooked leaders. I won’t bother with names because right is wrong and vice versa…but just wanted to make a point….I’m non mideastern shia muslim living in an america. I hate that we are oversupplied and so many could actually use this stuff…not just for recreational purposes…
        Anyways…..All I wanted to say was “Shhhhh…We already know…took a minute but the WHOLE world knows” Yeah I know it was a sarcastic statement…..They can plan and plot, but The Almighty God always prevails. Down with oppression!

  • November 2, 2010, 1:53 pm  

    Any news?

  • November 2, 2010, 9:49 pm  

    Brother Ken, asalamoalikum
    I hope you all get good news soon
    I’m Libyan,
    I live in Benghazi
    I have (foto) to road to hope >>>
    arrivel >> to Benghazi 2410201
    I will send you request (friend) Please>>> Accept

  • Mary Frenzel
    November 3, 2010, 2:11 pm  

    I would like the email addresses for the Egyptian Embassy in the US, or the Egyptian Department of Foreign Affairs. Thanks

  • Iman Badawi
    November 4, 2010, 4:03 am  

    What’s up Ken?

  • November 5, 2010, 3:44 am  

    This is a good blog message, I will keep the post in my mind. If you can add more video and pictures can be much better. Because they help much clear understanding. 🙂 thanks Kaler.

  • hala
    November 6, 2010, 10:44 pm  

    Brother
    I hope you all get good news soon
    I’m palestinian
    I live in UK
    I hope you can go a Gaza because all the pepol in Gaza need you to brok the blookeus. i have my brother Saeb shaat with you i hope every thing ok and could said asab we`re with you. i hope my prother see his family AGaza. the situtation is too difivualt in their. we`re all with you

  • khaled
    November 7, 2010, 11:45 pm  

    Just wanna say thanks a lot Ken. May god bless you.
    Khaled- Gaza

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