Archive for December, 2009

: Viva Palestina Humanitarian Aid Convoy refused Permission To Enter Egypt

 Well folks, as you awake today from your Christmas hangover, over 500 people from 20 countries, in 250 vehicles loaded with Humanitarian Aid, are left stranded in Aqaba, Jordan, having been refused permission to enter Egypt.

From Ireland, 10 volunteers in 2 ambulances, a van, and a truck loaded with Humanitarian Aid are part of this convoy. The convoy is organised by “Viva Palestina”, a charity founded by George Galloway, MP.

 The Egyptian Government have placed 3 conditions on the convoy if it wants to enter Egypt.

 1. We hand all our vehicles and aid over to UNRA.

2. We drive 500 miles back to Syria, and take a 24 hour ferry through the Suez Canal.

3. We have to ask Israel for permission to cross from Egypt to Gaza.

All 3 conditions have been flatly rejected by everyone on the convoy, as we want to cross into Gaza and hand our aid over to the Palestinians ourselves. Would you phone Canada to ask permission to enter the US? Would you ask France for permission to go to Germany?

 For the 1st time, Egypt have now openly admitted that they are under control of Israel/US. This has been the lead story on Al Jazeera for the past 24 hours, and there are media teams from all over the Arab world here in Aqaba following this story.

 Needless to say, everyone watching is totally outraged by Egypt’s complicity with Israel/US in denying this convoy of aid to reach Gaza. Needless to say, the western media have so far refused to cover this story.

 Yesterday, Christmas Day, I dressed up as Santa to lighten the mood, and everyones sprirts lifted. Al Jazeera interviewed Santa, who explained that the children in Gaza were the only ones in the whole world who didn’t recieve any presents. Santa explained that while flying through the air on his sleigh with the reindeers, he was stopped and refused entry. Santa was upset as this was the only place in the world he could not visit. Tomorrow marks the 1st anniversary of the start of the 22 day massacre of over 1,400 people. In solidarity, we are all going to embark on a fast. We will all fast for as long as it takes for us to get into Gaza with our aid.

 We are calling on people all over the world to fast with us, and with the Palestinians, who fast every day due to the illegal siege imposed upon them by Israel/US/Egypt. It’s time to take a stand and say “Enough Is Enough”.

 This siege has got to stop, for the sake of humanity, and our aid must be allowed to reach the stricken people in Gaza. I am calling on you to contact the Egyptian Embassy and demand that we be allowed to enter Gaza, and deliver our aid.

The contact details for the Egyptian Embassy in Dublin are: +353-1-6606718 / +353-1-6606566 / consular@embegyptireland.ie

 The contact details for the Egyptian Embassy in London are: 0044-20-7499-3304 / eg.emb_london@mfa.gov.eg

Please contact them, and express your outrage at their refusal to allow Humanitarian Aid into Gaza, and to let them know that you will never travel to Egypt again, as long as they are the lap dogs for Israel/US.

Please forward this message on to everyone you know, and ask them to do the same. Plus, please reply and leave a message of support for everyone who is stranded here in Aqaba, and for the Palestinians who need our support now, more than ever.

 If you are a member of Facebook, please join the following “Ireland To Gaza” group .

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 Written by Free Gaza Team | 24 December 2009

 newsletter also available in Spanish, Italian and Hebrew. We are looking for translators, if you want to translate in other languages, please contact web@freegaza.org

Introduction Ernesto Paramo, UK

 It has been an extremely busy time since June when we were concentrating all our efforts on sending the SPIRIT OF HUMANITY to Gaza. It certainly was a very eventful journey. You can remind yourselves of the Israeli attack on and hijacking of the boat by watching this short video filmed by the passengers on board the hijacked boat on 30th June. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDVuQpzwsRo&NR=1

Because of the very real threat posed by the Israeli navy, we decided we would not return to Gaza until we had a mini-flotilla capable of successfully challenging, under these more dangerous conditions, Israel’s draconian siege of the people of Gaza. Thanks to the generosity of the people of Malaysia and many others, we are well on target to getting 3-4 boats ready to go in the spring.

Appeal to all of you who are outraged by Israel’s flaunting of international law

 However, resources are still very tight, and we are appealing all of you, our supporters, during this holiday season to donate once more to enable us to get the last boat ready for the journey. It does not matter if you can only afford a small amount of money. We have received donations for as little as $1.50, and we have been very grateful, because every little bit helps. http://www.freegaza.org/donate

At Free Gaza, we are all volunteers, and no one gets a salary for the work we do. The majority of the money raised goes to buying, converting, paying for voyage expenses, and maintaining the boats.

 The people of Gaza need our support, please help us in this Season of Good Will to buy the last boat, so we can travel again to Gaza in the spring.

 Why I’m Going on the Gaza Freedom March Hedy Epstein, U.S.

 After President Obama’s acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize, a prize he does not deserve, it is a good time to think about what real peacemaking looks like. It is not beautiful speech making. It is more than 1,000 people from over 42 countries, caravanning hand in hand, on the Gaza Peace March into Gaza, to witness the devastation from last winter’s Israeli attack. Once across the Rafah border – insh’Allah – we will be joined by 50,000 Palestinians, in a non- violent march to the Eretz/Israel border. On the Israeli side of the border Palestinians & Israelis will also call on the Israeli government to open the border. http://www.gazafreedommarch.org/article.php?list=type&type=416

I am going to Gaza because I know what it is like to be awakened at night by a knock on the door; to have your home ransacked; not to be able to attend school; to have your parents arrested; not to know if, or when they will return; to hear planes overhead, waiting for them to unload their deadly cargo; to be orphaned at a young age. Yet, I am one of the lucky ones who survived; leading a privileged life, free to travel. Because I know all this, “I cannot stand idly by” (Leviticus 19:3).

 It is incumbent on me to reach out to my Palestinian brothers and sisters in their time of need, to stand in solidarity with them, to let them know that they are not alone, that I am bringing them a message from people back home, that they are in their thoughts. I am going because I am inspired by the resilience, strength, and yes, even hope, of the Palestinians, despite all odds. I am going so I can, upon my return, tell my congressional people, maybe even President Obama, and anyone else who will listen of my greater understanding, knowledge and authority about devastated Gaza and its courageous people.

 For you people back home, I ask that you keep us in your thoughts, I ask that you call your congressional representatives and ask them to put pressure on the Egyptian authorities to allow us safe passage and put pressure on the Israeli government and military not to interfere. Ask your representatives to not only open their doors, but their hearts and minds, to listen to our report-backs about Gaza, still under Israel’s illegal occupation and still under siege.

Elie Wiesel: Come with us to Gaza

 Greta Berlin, France

 On December 1st, three women, one Holocaust survivor, one Palestinian, and one educator, went to hear Elie Wiesel speak in St. Louis. Watch how he dismisses them, after they asked him to come with them to Gaza.This man of ‘peace’ ignores the plea of these women to witness for himself what Israel is doing in his name and with American money. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4wkR1IUUE8

Action Call on anniversary of Israel’s massacres in Gaza

 Ewa Jasiewicz

December 27th-January 18th 2009-2010 marks the one-year anniversary of Israel’s brutal ‘Operation Cast Lead’ against the people of besieged Gaza.

 Free Gaza is asking groups around the world to show Spanish Film-Maker Alberto Arce and Mohammad Rujailah’s ‘To Shoot an Elephant’ (2009) – an award-winning documentary filmed during Operation Cast Lead, detailing war crimes and the impact on ordinary people, journalists and paramedics.

 This massacre intensified and escalated an existent policy of ethnic cleansing and deliberate destruction as well as re-inflicted a new Nakba on the Palestinian people

. The 22-day attack left more than 1,400 dead, the vast majority of them civilians, including nearly 400 children. It left over 5000 injured, displaced 50,000 and made 20,000 homeless (until today).

[1] More than 3,600 homes were completely destroyed and 11,000 partially destroyed. Over 258 people died because Israeli forces prevented rescue services from reaching them.

 [2] Most people were bombed to death in or close to their homes, with over a third (519) cut down by Israeli Drones and another 473 by jet planes.

[3] Israel used white phosphorous, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, F16s, Apache and Cobra Helicopter gun ships, Naval Vessels, Tanks, APCs, Caterpillar Military Bulldozers and soldiers armed with M16s to systematically kill people and destroy Gaza’s infrastructure, businesses and agricultural land and property.

 We also re-iterate the call from Palestinian Civil Society, issued in 2005, for a comprehensive Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment campaign (BDS) against Israel as the primary means to promote human rights and an enforcement of international law.

 We also ask activists to take direct action in solidarity with Palestinians throughout the Middle East, in refugee camps outside of Palestine, struggling against apartheid inside ’48, as well as those resisting the ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem and steady bantustanisation of the West Bank. Arms companies such as Rafael, Elbit Systems, Lockheed Martin, EDO-ITT, Caterpillar, and companies cementing occupation such as Ireland’s CRT (Cement Roadstone Holdings) (Apartheid Wall) Veolia and Alstom (Jerusalem Light Railway), Carmel-Agrexco (Illegal colonies and agriculture) and Edelman PR as well as Israeli Embassies and the institutions that collude with the occupation such as the European Union

. The deadly closure of Gaza continues, the colonization of East Jerusalem and the West Bank continues, and the inalienable right of refugees to return to their homes still remains out of reach for millions. Grassroots resistance to Israel’s ongoing attacks has never been as urgent as it is today.

 REMEMBER GAZA – STAND UP FOR PALESTINE — TAKE ACTION! ACTIONS •SHOW: The award-winning Gaza Attack 2009 Film – ‘To Shoot an Elephant’ by Alberto Arce and Mohammad Rujailah www.toshootanelephant.com

•INVITE AN EYEWITNESS SPEAKER: Witnesses who were present on the ground and accompanying ambulances during the attacks are available to speak including: Fida Qeshta, Gaza ISM Co-Ordinator and film maker (Palestine), Caoimhe Butterly (Ireland), Ewa Jasiewicz (Poland/UK) – also featured in ‘To Shoot an Elephant’, Jenny Linnell (UK), Fida Qshta (Gaza Palestine), Natalie Abu Shakra (Lebanon/UK) and Sharyn Lock (Australia/UK) – Sharyn has also just completed a book ‘Gaza Beneath the Bombs’ which is due out on January 1st (http://www.plutobooks.com/display.asp?K=9780745330242&)

 If you are interested in organizing an event around that time, please get in touch with us at friends@freegaza.org This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

•TAKE DIRECT ACTION: Find your local occupation and apartheid profiteer


•JOIN THE BDS CAMPAIGN: Find out more and get involved www.bdsmovement.net

•CHECK OUT AND JOIN: ◦THE GAZA FREEDOM MARCH http://www.gazafreedommarch.org

◦VIVA PALESTINA http://www.vivapalestina.org


◦RUSSELL TRIBUNAL http://www.russelltribunalonpalestine.net/

◦THE INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT http://www.palsolidarity.org Sources

[1] UNHCR and UNDP June 2009

 [2] Al Mezan, Cast Lead Offensive in Numbers, June 2009, http://www.mezan.org/upload/8941.pdf

[3] Al Haq Palestinian Human Rights Organisation, Operation Cast Lead – A Statistical Analysis, August 2009


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Pleasae watch………..


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A Prayer for gaza


 This is an email sent personally to alan from Fr. Manuel Musallam, former parish priest of gaza whom alan met in gaza last year.

Jeunes Palestiniens en Chemin


Father Manuel Musallam, born in Bir Zeit, was a priest for 14 years in Gaza, during which he had no permission to leave. Last May, he retired, tired, exhausted by what he has endured alongside his people, trying to support and assist with all his strength, regardless of their political, religious or ideological backgrounds.

The world has hardly listened to his cries for help.

His warnings against political manipulation and the danger of extremism were not taken into account by the world. It is in Gaza that he has left his friends and they all cried at his farewell, Muslims and Christians. They were able to see him not only as a priest but as a builder of peace, who was not discouraged when the bricks of this building for peace collapsed under the bombardments.

He retired in Bir Zeit, not far from Ramallah: a retreat from his pastoral duties but certainly not his commitment. He is mandated by the Palestinian Authority and supported by the Holy Seat to organize and lead the Muslim-Christian Commission and the Department of Christians in the world.

His Muslim friends have often told him that it was through him that they have discovered Christianity. It is therefore natural that the call to the global prayer in commemoration of the attack against Gaza comes from him, former director of two major schools  in Gaza.

The lay-out of that day was refined in September, when we met. The sad anniversary will be December 27 but in order to collect and educate as many friends as possible, we chose December 20, the day the Patriarch of Jerusalem the Archbishop Fuad Twal planned to give the Christmas Mass in Gaza, a week before that of Bethlehem. There will be a communion around the world with these people whom the media tell us little. These  people continue to suffer in the enclosure without a way out, physically and mentally, and with little glimmer of hope or expectation.

This prayer is written in Arabic by Manuel Abuna. The prayer is translated into English, French, Spanish, Italian, Slovenian; it will be read out aloud in churches and temples on almost every continent.

Abuna Manuel does not want the prayer to intervene in the liturgy planned for this 4th Sunday of Advent. However, he would be happy if our voices would be united, believers or not, in a large call for Peace and Justice.

In September, he also shared his hope and desire to organize a collection on that day, called “a chocolate for a child in Gaza”. Unfortunately lack of time has prevented this plan to be executed as yet. But we remain hopeful of being able to arrange this another time, as we continue our close collaboration.

We invite you to share this day with all those who are  appalled by the unjust and useless suffering of the people in Gaza

Duša Zgonec, President of the association  Jeunes Palestiniens en Chemin

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,


to share in a prayer for Gaza Strip

To commemorate the last war on it

Let us pray for all who suffer in Gaza Strip

for those who are deprived and oppressed

for all who are sick and handicapped

for those in darkness, in doubt and in despair,

in loneliness and fear

for prisoners

for the victims of false accusations and violence

for all at the point of death and those who watch beside them

that God in his mercy will sustain them with the knowledge of

his love.  Lord, hear us.


All Lord, graciously hear us.


To commemorate the last war against Gaza


From Gaza,

I will give free course to my complaint.

I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.(Job 10:  1) 

God our Lord, 

On Christmas, a year ago,

Our calamity overtook us like a storm.

Our disaster came on, like a whirlwind. (Proverbs 1: 27)

That day was a day of wrath, a day of distress and anguish, a day of trouble and ruin, a day of darkness.( Zephaniah 1: 15)

We hunger and thirst. 

To our children weeping we haven’t found any bread to give them or any water to quench their thirst or to let them suckle for milk. We tried vainly to find the food of animals to satisfy our need. Our animals and birds expired from penury.

Windows and doors of our houses were blown out by the noise of bombardment and we languished too much from a frozen December and winter. Our cold bodies from fear, thirst and hunger were not able to warm a child snuggled to us. 

Innocents died, mainly children and women. We went outside to the streets and cemeteries under heavy shelling, weeping and crying, begging for mercy, consolation and protection.  

An apathetic world was neglecting our bitterness and keeping a strange silence towards us. Tanks and bombs were smashing us and we were deeply humiliated 

A year later we are still suffering the same hunger, thirst, siege, deprivation, humiliation and fear. More than 12000  families whose parents were kidnapped and jailed in the Israeli prisons are deprived for decades from affection and love.

Between slavery and death there really is no choice and if death is forced upon us we’ll have courage in our hearts to die honest, brave and strong.  


Lord, enable us to hear the cries of the victims of conflicts, especially arising today from Gaza.

Forgive our deafness; open our ears and our hearts to the anguish and distress of our neighbors. 
And we join in prayer for our brothers and sisters in Gaza.

But you God, in whom we trust, don’t withhold your tender mercies from us. Do not stand far off. Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? (Psalm 10: 1) 

Lord Jesus when you passed by Gaza, escaping the threat of Herod we protected you. We fed you. We warmed your slender body. Please, come back to Gaza to help us, giving the Peace you promised. Don’t forget your people: 200 Catholics, 3500 Orthodox, 30 Baptists, 10 Anglicans and one million and half Muslims.

Have mercy on us, God. Give us Peace based on Justice. Let us rejoicing in hope; enduring in troubles; continuing steadfastly in prayer; (Romans 12: 12  ) 

Comfort us in our entire affliction that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, through the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted (2 Corinthians 1:4) 

Lord, even we thirst for Peace and hunger for Justice,” who shall separate us from your love? Could oppression, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” (Romans  8:36).  

We are yours. Save us 

Lord of peace, rain peace upon us

Lord of peace grant peace to our land

Have mercy lord on all of your people

But don’t leave us lord in enmity forever 

Father Manuel Musallam


November 5, 2009    

FrenchRitorna ancora a Gaza

Présentation de la journée


المجد لله في العلى وعلى الارض السلام للناس الذين بهم المسرة

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