Wednesday, May 27, 2009
"On Tuesday, May 26th, a delegation of 66 U.S., Canadian and Egyptian Peace activists with the women-led peace group 'Code Pink' were allowed to enter the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border crossing on the Gaza-Egypt border. Their entry follows closely the Hope Convoy of humanitarian aid from Europe, which arrived in Gaza early Tuesday morning after having camped out at the Rafah crossing for several days demanding entry.
The Code Pink delegation also faced problems from the Egyptian authorities, who tried to keep the group from entering Gaza. Egypt has an agreement wth Israel to keep the border closed as long as Israel maintains its siege warfare on Gaza.
According to Code Pink, “At 9am [on Tuesday], when all three groups got in their buses to go to the border, they were stopped at the first checkpoint, surrounded by riot police, and not allowed to even get off the bus. They were told that there were military exercises going on in the area and that they could not move forward to the border. Meanwhile, they saw other cars going in and out. But they were forced to turn around to go back to Al Arish. ”
After several members of the group's leadership met for four hours with the Egyptian Foreign Ministry's Office of Palestinian Coordination, the group was allowed to cross through the multiple checkpoints between the Egyptian city of Al Arish and the Rafah border crossing, and were finally allowed through the Rafah border itself......
The next group of 70 Code Pink activists will attempt to enter on Saturday May 30th.
The Code Pink delegations are bringing humanitarian aid and support to the people of Gaza, and are also attempting to document some of the effects of the Israeli onslaught on the Gaza Strip in January that killed over 1200 Palestinians."