Monday, June 22, 2009

Besiege the Siege at the Rafah Gate

6 months after Israel's brutal attack against Gaza, the siege stand unrelenting; Rafah has been open a total of ZERO days for normal traffic during the course of the past two years, according to GISHA; and only a day or two every couple of month for "humanitarian purposes"; This month, a group of people-mothers, sons, daughters, wives, husbands, students, continue to wait at the crossing in a makeshift camp dubbed "Rafah Camp", to get through; Here is an update from the Intl Movement to Open Rafah Border:

June 21, 2009

The International Movement to Open the Rafah Border

Rafah Crossing-Rafah, Egypt

In the ninth day of a sit-in camp at the Rafah, Egypt border gate, the International Movement to Open the Rafah Border (IMORB) rejects President Obama's rationale for the siege of Gaza and the limited access through the Rafah gate. In his address to the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) last month, US President Obama said that arms shipments to Hamas must stop.

"The Rafah gate is not a point of transfer for weapons, but a throughway for Palestinians and commerce," said Paki Wieland of Northhampton, Mass, USA. "Through our extensive interviews we have heard again and again, from aging parents, families, and students, that they want to visit with family in Gaza, attend weddings or return home; this is so normal," continued Ms. Wieland, " and when they are denied, the emotional stress and economic strain brings sadness, anger, and devastating despair.

"The technology is available to monitor for potential weapons shipments through Rafah," said Don Bryant of Cleveland, Ohio, USA. "This siege is just an excuse to strangle Gaza to death," he said.

The IMORB will continue the sit-in and fasting at the Rafah gate indefinately. On a daily basis, IMORB challenges the closed border and escorts people seeking entry to Gaza.

One Palestinian-American family from Texas USA has been waiting over two weeks, like hundreds of others, to enter Gaza. "This is so humiliating," said the Texan mother of four.


Paki Wieland (002) 018 735 8621
Nada Kassass (002) 012 250 4611


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