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McCartney expresses concern for Derry men on 'Viva Plaestina' convoy

6 January, 2010 - by Raymond McCartney

Derry Sinn Féin MLA, Raymond McCartney, has expressed concern for the safety of five young Derry men travelling on the ‘Viva Palestina’ medical aid convoy to Gaza which is currently detained in the port of El Arish on the Egypt / Gaza border.

Raymond McCartney said

“Sinn Féin has been in contact with family members of the Derry men involved in the medical aid for Gaza ‘Viva Palestina’ Convoy. The families are obviously very concerned about the circumstances pertaining in El Arish where there are unconfirmed reports of confrontation between the participants of the convoy and riot police. We share in that concern. Sinn Féin has been informed by family members that they have spoken to their relatives on the convoy and that although none of them have been injured there are injuries among some of the convoy participants.

“The five young Derry men are part of the ‘Viva Plaestina’ Convoy travelling to Gaza in an attempt to deliver much needed medical aid to the area which is presently under an Israeli imposed blockade. It is a humanitarian relief effort which deserves our support.

“Whatever tensions may have arisen between the convoy and the authorities in El Arish it is essential that we focus our attention on the innocent victims in Gaza who urgently need this medical aid. Leaders of the convoy and the authorities should seek to resolve any difficulties in a peaceful manner and one which respects the human rights of those Palestinians living under siege in Gaza.

“I will be keeping in close contact with the relatives of the convoy members and will support efforts to ensure the men’s safety and well-being. Sinn Féin at the highest level will also be in touch with the Irish government urging their intervention with the authorities in El Arish calling for respect for the humanitarian nature of this convoy.”


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