Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate

On Thursday, 3lst December 2009, people of Gaza remembered the beginning of the Operation Cast Lead massacre upon them, by the Israeli military, when 1,400 people in Gaza were killed and some 5,000 were injured during the 22-day assault. These crimes against humanity and war crimes perpetrated by the Israeli government are not only remembered by the people of Gaza and of Palestine but by millions of people around the world who were shocked and disgusted by this further act of barbarity upon the people of Gaza by the Israeli government.

In order to show their solidarity with the people of Gaza, around 1,400 people from 48 different countries have this week gathered in Egypt hoping to enter Gaza at the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt. They bring humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza. These l, 400 represent millions of People around the world who join them in spirit and add their voices to theirs to demand that Israel change its policies of siege and occupation and illegal  policies of collective punishment of the people of Gaza.

These people come from many different countries. Their demand is simple: that the Israeli government lift the illegal and immoral siege of Gaza, which has left l.5 million people with inadequate food, water, health care, electricity, sanitation and education.

Amongst the international delegation are about a dozen persons from Ireland who have brought medical aid, educational materials and toys for the children. The Irish delegation have joined the Gaza Freedom March and the Viva Palestina Convoy with their 200 vehicles bound to Gaza, and have travelled for several weeks overseas to join other international delegates from around the World.

I would appeal to the Egyptian authorities to open the Rafah crossing and assist the humanitarian delegations to enter Gaza and be with the people. It is particularly important as the children are suffering so much, and as their human family we must all do what we can to help each other, particularly the children and civilians, who under international law must be protected against war and violence.

I appeal to President Obama and the American administration to do all in their power to bring to an end this illegal siege of Gaza, which is a shame to humanity in this 2lst century, when governments and peoples are challenged to abolish barbaric wars and solve problems through dialogue and negotiations.


This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 31 Dec 2009.

Anticopyright: Editorials and articles originated on TMS may be freely reprinted, disseminated, translated and used as background material, provided an acknowledgement and link to the source, TMS: AN APPEAL FOR THE EGYPTIAN GOVERNMENT TO OPEN THE RAFAH CROSSING ALLOWING HUMANITARIAN AID INTO GAZA, is included. Thank you.

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