Activists on Asia lifeline to Gaza under threat for life
New Delhi (3 January 2011): The Asia Life line to Gaza ship carrying humanitarian supplies from Asia to the besieged residents of Gaza has been denied the permission to arrive in the Egyptian port of El-Arish. The ship which started from the port of Lattakia of Syria has been stopped 2KMs far from Al-Arish Port in Egypt. The eight activists on board the ship had spent 13 hours without water and food. The conditions of two amongst them are critical and are not in a position to survive any longer. They have even tried to jump off the ship out of frustration.
The eight activists on board the ship are Ajit Sahi (Journalist), Shaheen K Moidunny (Students Islamic Organisation of India), Brigadier Sudhir Savant (Former MP), Aslam Khan (AISA, JNU Delhi) and one delegate each from Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Azerbaijan.
Five Israeli naval vessels are tailing the ship carrying humanitarian supplies from Asia to the besieged residents of Gaza. Speaking via satellite phone, Shaheen Moidunny, who is on board the ship Salam, told yesterday night that Israeli ships had been tracking the movements of their vessel for the last six hours. Radio contact had been established with the Israeli navy. “We are only one hour away from the Egyptian port of Al-Arish, where the ship would be docked,” Mr. Moidunny said. He clarified that there were no plans to take the ship to Gaza. “All the humanitarian supplies would be taken overland from Al-Arish to the Rafa crossing on the Egyptian Gaza border,” he said.
Mr. Moidunny said only eight persons were on board the aid ship, while the rest of the activists, from several Asian countries had been flown into Egypt from Syria.
The remaining delegates had already reached Gaza today morning by air. The convoy, which set off from New Delhi on December 2, was scheduled to reach Gaza by December 27, a day ahead of the second anniversary of Israel's 22-day war on Gaza.
Asian Convoy Comes to Gaza: two big white buses pulling up to the Al-Quds Hotel
The Convoy leader Bishruddin Sharqi can be contacted on phone: +919810650228. And the volunteers on the ship may be contacted via satellite phone: +8821621294881
Released by Suhail KK, SIO of India, +919873674423, Suhailkk##gmail.com
The Ship 'Salam' carrying about $ 1million worth of humanitarian aid for Gaza accompanying the First Asia to Gaza Caravan is not being allowed to dock for reasons as yet unknown at the Al Arish port of Egypt. 8 members of the caravan, consisting of four Indians, Brigadier Sudhir Sawant, former Member of Parliament, Ajit Sahi, senior journalist, Sheheen Kattiparambil, young activist of Jamaat-e-Islami, Aslam Khan, student leader of All India Students Association - Koichi Sakaguchi from Japan, Hakim Alizade from Azerbaijan, Muhammad Husein from Indonesia and Norazli Bin Musa from Malaysia, are aboard the ship which left Latakia, Syria, on the morning of 1st January, 2011. The ship has been anchoring about 1 km away from the Al Arish port for about a day now.
Meanwhile over hundred members of the caravan have already reached Gaza after a 4 hour held up at the Al Arish airport late evening on 2nd January.
The Caravan was apprehensive of interception by Israel, whose two ships and a helicopter followed 'Salam' for almost the whole of daytime on 2nd January. But stalling by Egypt has come as an utmost surprise. This is the first time that aid for Gaza is being stalled by Egypt.
Contact numbers in Gaza: Feroze Mithiborwala, 0091 9820897517, Mustapa Mansor, 0097 595569914
Contact number on ship: Brigadier Sudhir Sawant, 0091 9869812408