Monday, December 28, 2009

The embassy was lying - Convoy has to turn back to Syria

We got in about 12.30 pm, I believe 8 of us in total, excluding the press. In all the hive, we forgot to bring in our own photographer:(

The ambassador was warm & seemed very prepared for our questions. I think we were thrown off balance when he claimed that Nuweiba, where the convoy wants to get to is a small town & cannot accommodate 200 vehicles where Al Arish can. We had no way of verifying at that point. He also claimed that Egypt had informed Mr Galloway of this very early on, way before the convoy departed London. Again no way of verifying.

He offered no solution other than repeating the fact that the Palestinians are their brethren, even at one time insinuating that Egyptians are closer to the Palestinians than Malaysians.

When the question of allowing the group to pass in small numbers was raised, he said that's beyond him.

To the question of Egypt opening the Rafah crossing to make it more accessible for the long term, he was evasive.

When asked what is the Egyptian government's best solution to this stalemate, he was again evasive, just saying there are 6 border points.

When pressed for a solution that would take into account the people of Gaza foremost, I thought he was offended.

He kept reiterating the fact that Egypt only controls their part of Rafah & that Hamas & Israel are in control the other end. We need independent verification on this.

He was trying to avoid speaking to our larger crowd, but with Jamilah & me insisting & the press in full view, it proved to be difficult.

The questions that were thrown at him by our crowd, who managed to come in to the compound rattled him somewhat. In fact it was Marina Mahathir that did that. I think he was intimidated by her name & questions. To make up for his nervousness he even told her that he had relayed her mother's message to Egypt.

I sent the following sms to George Galloway upon returning home,
"Egyptian ambassador here informed us that Nuweiba is too small a place & cannot handle 200 vehicles. Which is why you are asked to go by Al Arish and that your party had been told this even before you left London.Is this true?"

His answer,
"LOL. Absolutely untrue on both counts. We are booked on the normal ferry which sails daily. It is Al Arish which is too small. To Nuweiba we are all on the same boat. To Al Arish we need several boats. They told us on December 21. We left London on December 6. Alice can email you the text. They also told us to involve UNRWA and Israel, neither of which we can do. Erdogan has made a compromise proposal. It is now in Cairo with them. Ask them to accept it."

I'll be emailing Alice of Viva UK for the text & for word on the proposal by Erdogan.

All in all, a successful event, & turnout was encouraging, thanks to JIM. But knowing very little about the facts on the ground disadvantages us. Just as he first told us that the Rafah crossing is small, apparently he's done the same about Nuweiba & Al Arish.

Azra Banu


So, the convoy is now heading back to Syria. Well at least its now likely to arrive in Gaza, Palestine. Glad VP didn't box themselves in too tightly. Here's a twitter from the convoy and they mention what the Egyptian Ambassador discussed with us about the Red Sea port being too small...
Convoy stuck in Aqaba and people protesting in Cairo = Gaza siege still on 1 of our team members saying goodbye. He’s leaving for EGY as individual, has flight booked back from there. Team members in tears…. I think Israel-EGY has made us even more determined to take them on. Even if we do it from our home countries. The struggle for PLE is Not in Aqaba or by the convoy. It’s multi-nat, inter-nat and represented by people from all walks of life…Kevin speaking at meet. We are told to pack up and prepare to leave sometime today. Looks like we will be driving back to SYR… Est if we do EGYs roundabout bully route, 3.5 days to Rafah… those in Msia, whatever was told to you this morn at Embassy re Red Sea route not able to accomod8 convoy size/capacity is nonsense. –@juanajaafar


ummu asiah said...

Dr Hafidzi..

jahatnya depa..

mohon copy paste juga ke blog ummuasiah sebagai follow up kepada entry sebelumnya just to let ppl know...penipunya mereka!!!


Hafidzi Mohd Noor said...


Ana pun ada ambil banyak gambar-gambar dari blog ummuasiah. Maaf tak mintak izin...


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