Friday, 4 June 2010

No aid cargo has been sent into Gaza, says Hamas

CONFUSION REIGNS over the fate of cargo seized by Israel from the six boats of the international flotilla intercepted en route to Gaza last Monday.

Yesterday, Ahmad al-Kurd, welfare minister in Gaza’s de facto Hamas administration, said that the cargo of cement, medicines, water-purification equipment and motorised wheelchairs could not enter Gaza until certain conditions were met. He said Israel must release all passengers on the ships and deliver the entire cargo, not a part of it. He also said that since the voyage was organised by Turkey, Ankara should decide what should happen to the cargo.

Israel said all but three passengers – an Irishman, an Australian and an Italian – remain in custody, while several are receiving treatment in Israeli hospitals. Eight lorries filled with goods are said to be waiting at the Karem Shalom goods crossing awaiting permission to enter Gaza. An unknown number of cargo containers have yet to be unloaded. More

The need for aid in Gaza

THE PASSENGER CROSSING between Gaza and Egypt is a chaotic throng of Palestinians seeking to escape desperation: women and children, students, an old gent in a wheelchair needing medical treatment. While the Egyptians may open the gate once a month, this is not certain, so Gazans seek to come and go during this extraordinary period.

Cars, buses, motorbikes, an ambulance and donkey carts mill around, raising dust, while people brandish their exit permissions at blue-suited policemen guarding the gate. But only those processed and allowed to board five buses in Gaza City at 5am have passed the iron gates into the Palestinian terminal. The magic number is 400 – a day.

Human-rights researcher Fadel Mazzani, who seeks to go to Cairo to defend his doctoral dissertation, says that only people who presented themselves at 1am found a place. Still he is hopeful. “I have been sent back five times.”

Nuha Abu Shamala, an IT graduate from Rafah, who has a visa for Morocco, telephones her father to come and fetch her.

Hundreds of Palestinians each day can now cross the border with Egypt, but those who remain face poverty and deprivation, writes MICHAEL JANSEN in Gaza

Irish Protesters call for Israeli ambassador to be expelled

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