|100 women, mostly from Europe and the US, expected to enter Gaza by March 8 to celebrate International Women’s Day in solidarity with their Palestinian sisters in Gaza. As of now the majority of the delegation has been detained by Egyptian authorities at the Cairo airport or deported. Two of the delegation’s leaders, US Peace Activist Medea Benjamin and Irish Nobel peace laureate Mairead Maguire have already been deported. Medea was assaulted and injured by Egyptian police while in their custody and ignored by the US Embassy in Cairo despite repeated calls for assistance. She has returned to the US and is recovering.
The international delegation was formed in response to a call for help from the women of Gaza. The 1.8 million inhabitants of this tiny Palestinian territory have been under siege by neighbors, Israel and Egypt, for 7 miserable years, depriving them of the most basic needs, including access to safe drinking water, electricity, adequate medical care and freedom of movement. Human and material access in/out of Gaza is highly controlled and the only civilian point of entry is through Egypt at the Rafah Gate, where Palestinians are the first victims of frequent border closings. This is where the delegation intends to cross into Gaza if the Egyptian authorities allow them to travel through Egypt.
Actions we can take:
Call and/or email the Egyptian Embassy at 202 895-5400 and Embassy@egyptembassy.net. Ask for an apology and justice for the delegation. Demand that they open the Rafah border and stop cracking down on journalists and Egyptian and International peace and justice activists! Send a letter to the Egyptian Ambassador with our demands: http://codepink.salsalabs.com/
Sign this petition to Egypt Desk at the State Department, then call them (202-647-4680). Demand to know why they did not assist, and let them know you want an immediate end to US military aid to Egypt.http://codepink.salsalabs.com/
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