7 December, 2009
After 6 months of fundraising, 4 teams from all across Ireland will leave on Saturday December 5th, to travel 4,000 miles to Gaza, to deliver Ambulances and Humanitarian aid to the stricken region.
In Tyrone, Galway, Dublin, Derry & Cork, volunteers have been working flat out fundraising, and raising awareness of the plight of the people in Gaza. Together, they will bring 2 ambulances, a mini bus, and a truck filled with over 10 tonne of humanitarian aid.
They will travel to London where they will join up with the “Viva Palestina Convoy“, organised and led by George Galloway MP. Over 100 vehicles will leave on Sunday December 6th, and will travel through France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, and reach the Rafah border between Egypt and Gaza for December 27th.
December 27th marks the 1st anniversary of the attack on Gaza, which left over 1,400 people dead, and over 5,000 injured. The situation in Gaza is as bad today as it was the day the bombs stopped falling in January. The Gaza Strip is still sealed; homes, businesses, hospitals, schools and mosques still lie in rubble; and fundamental supplies are in severe shortage, as Israel continues to restrict the entry of basic goods such as fuel, medical equipment, oxygen, baby formula, paper, books, and construction materials.
Leaving from Derry will be 4 volunteers and an ambulance filled with medical aid.
Another ambulance laden with aid will leave from Cork, along with 4 volunteers.
From Galway, a mini bus loaded with medical aid will also undertake this mammoth journey.
From Tyrone, a truck loaded with medical, building, and sporting supplies will join in this incredible journey.
Each and every person will be giving up their time freely to undertake this incredible journey, and not only will they spend 3 weeks on the road, but they will be away from their family and friends for Christmas.
Tyrone man David Callendar, outlined his reasons for travelling when he said:
“What happened in Gaza in Jan 2009 was a war crime and the ongoing blockade of Gaza by Israel, the United States and Egypt is a crime. The people taking part in these crimes should be brought to justice, and not 20 years from now, when we finally have leaders with integrity and compassion. We have to make changes now.
“I was at a demonstration in Palestine 2 years ago and I saw a young boy of about 7 or 8 holding a sign that said “Where is the world?” This is a very common question in Palestine, and for me, being part of the “Viva Palestina Convoy” makes that little boy’s sign bigger, brighter and louder. The events in Gaza have highlighted the lack of co-ordination and capacity of not only Irish charities and groups, but international ones as well. I believe that our convoy will be the only physical aid going to Gaza from Ireland this year, apart from the individual effort of my fellow Tyrone man, John Hurson.
“I find this completely shocking, and feel that this issue needs to addressed as a matter of urgency.” I would like to thank all the people and children who have supported me and made the trip possible I would also like to thank Mariead Maguire and all her friends at “Peace People” for all their support.”
This will be the 2nd overland convoy of aid organised by “Viva Palestina”, the 1st having successfully delivered 125 vehicles loaded with essential humanitarian aid in March of this year. Among them, was a truck filled with aid driven by Tyrone man, John Hurson.
The aid he brought has been the only Irish aid to reach Gaza this year. Not only did John deliver essential aid, but he has since set up the 1st GAA club in Gaza.
The club has Professor Noam Chomsky and GAA legend Peter Canavan as presidents, and as part of the aid travelling on this convoy, the GAA have donated goalposts, jerseys, and training video’s for the children in Gaza who have taken up the sport of Gaelic games.
For any further information, please feel free to contact John Hurson:
John: 07875 396335.