For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Suzanne Stenson O'Brien, 612-868-7619,
Medea Benjamin, 415-235-6517,

Gaza Freedom March is Determined to Break the Siege

CAIRO - Citing escalating tensions on the Gaza-Egypt border, the Egyptian
Foreign Ministry informed us on December 20 that the Rafah border will
be closed over the coming weeks, into January. We responded that there
is always tension at the border because of the siege and that if there
are any risks, they are risks we are willing to take. We also said that
it was too late for over 1,360 delegates coming from over 42 countries
to change their plans now.  

Although we consider this as a
setback, it is something we’ve encountered—and overcome--before.  No
delegation, large or small, that has entered Gaza over the past 12
months has received a final OK before arriving at the Rafah border. 
Most delegations were discouraged from even heading out of Cairo to
Rafah.  Some had their buses stopped on the way. Some have been told
outright that they could not go into Gaza. But after public and
political pressure, the Egyptian government changed its position and
let them pass.

Our efforts and plans will not be altered at this
point. We have set out to break the siege of Gaza and to march in Gaza
on December 31 against the international blockade. We are continuing
the journey.

Egyptian embassies and missions all over the
world will be hearing by phone, fax and email from delegates and the
supporters of the Gaza Freedom March  over the coming crucial days,
with the clear message: Let the international delegation enter Gaza and
let the Gaza Freedom March proceed.   

Many delegates are
already in Cairo and more are arriving daily. Delegates cancelled
holiday plans months ago to come on the Gaza Freedom march and air
tickets were purchased. We anticipate that virtually all of the 1,360
delegates will come to Cairo.   

Because of the incredible
humanitarian crisis in Gaza caused by the Israeli attack on Gaza a year
ago and by the international siege on Gaza, we feel morally obligated
to continue our mission to bring more international attention to the
plight of the 1.5 million people imprisoned in Gaza.

For more information:

Ann Wright
019 508 1493 (cairo),

Medea Benjamin
US +1.415-235-6517 Cairo 0189561919

Ehab Lotayef
Canada +1.514.941.9792   Cairo 017 638-2628

Haidar Eid
Gaza +972 599 441 766



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