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  #1  
Old 15 Feb 2009
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110 Vehicle Convoy to Gaza via North Africa - route seems impossbile

Saw this report on the 110 vehicles going from uk to gaza

The Press Association: Aid convoy heads off for Gaza

"The convoy will travel 5,000 miles through France, Spain, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, crossing into Gaza at Rafah in early March."


I dont think its possible
any thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 15 Feb 2009
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Well,

There is a website

And according to this they have left London saturday 14, anyway hope they can achieve this.

I wish them succes!
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  #3  
Old 15 Feb 2009
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Yes Viva Palestina will make it. The Palestinians have suffered so much that surely no country will try to block the aid coming. They will most likely add vehicles to the aid convoy. Mubarak is a problem, but will not withstand world opinion.

Karim, why is it impossible?


Check the website above.

Last edited by Caminando; 17 Feb 2009 at 09:43.
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  #4  
Old 15 Feb 2009
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seems Impossible because morroco / algeria border is firmly closed,

even if they do make into egypt, I beleive the egyptians for political reasons will unlikely allow them to cross out of egpyt into gaza

lets see what unfolds

Im more interested to see if they have the politial might to get the morroccans and algerians to open up the border
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  #5  
Old 15 Feb 2009
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Then 2-3 Muslim countries will be denying aid to fellow Muslims under attack. I'm sure, (I hope) that they must have contacted all countries en route.
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  #6  
Old 16 Feb 2009
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Anti-terror police arrest three members of George Galloway's aid team as they head to

Is this the convoy you are talking of?

Anti-terror police arrest three members of George Galloway's aid team as they head to Gaza | Mail Online

If so it asn't even made it out of the UK
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  #7  
Old 16 Feb 2009
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Quote:
seems Impossible because morroco / algeria border is firmly closed,

even if they do make into egypt, I beleive the egyptians for political reasons will unlikely allow them to cross out of egpyt into gaza
There's some mention of special dispensation on the website. A case of hoping the waves will part? Who knows...

"We are receiving tremendous cooperation from the embassies of the countries en route....Already this has meant the authorities will open crossings that are normally closed and are providing facilities for the convoy. "

Viva Palestina - info for drivers
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Old 16 Feb 2009
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Fingers crossed it provides the excuse needed to open the Maroc/Algerian border:

From the Western Sahara info Blog:
Western Sahara Info.

"Algeria's and Morocco's closed border

The Moor Next Door has an interesting post up on the controversy about the closed Algerian-Moroccan border, with some equally interesting comments at the end. (Also see his latest Mauritania monthly.)

For a brief recap, the Algerian-Moroccan border was shut as a consequence of the Sahara war, and remained closed into the eighties. In 1994, the border was shut again, after an shady affair which began with a terrorist strike on a hotel in Marrakech, where two French Algerians were among the perpetrators. Algiers quickly offered condoleances, but Rabat announced that the Algerian secret services had directed the attack. Crisis followed, and visas were imposed, borders shut, and thousands of Algerians tourists expelled manu militari. The expulsions, in particular, sent the Algerian public into a fit of jingoist rage, thus belatedly joining the Moroccans who were already roaring with righteous anger since the hotel attack. So everything was finally back to normal: borders closed, arms rattling, and everyone blaming everyone else. Recently, however, Morocco began publicly asking Algeria to reopen the borders, which Algeria refuses to do, and, indeed, generally avoids to even comment on. Why? Well:

Regarding Morocco's insistence on the border issue, unlike TMND, I think it is less an attempt to escalate the conflict than an attempt to profit from the present status quo. Publicly asking Algeria to open the border is a win-win gamble for Morocco, since:

1. If Algeria agrees to open the border, removed constraints on tourism and trade will boost the Moroccan economy, which is in dire straits. It will also easen one of the most significant costs of the Saharan conflict -- namely the block on trade and Morocco's geographic isolation. A closed Algerian border cuts Morocco off from any plausible land route to the rest of North Africa and the Arab world, so it's not just Algero-Moroccan trade that is at stake. Also, since it comes on Moroccan request, a border opening would score a political point. In that sense, the public and challenging nature of the requests may well make it less likely that Algeria will open the border. The Moroccans realize this, of course; it's part of the gamble.

2. If Algeria refuses to open the border, it comes off as the unreasonable party. That is true both internationally, in the US and Europe, where politicians are exasperated with the petty rivalries of the Maghreb; and in the Arab world, where the Algerian-Moroccan spat has always been seen as one of the most pointless examples of Arab disunity; and in Morocco; and to some extent in Algeria. Many Algerians are angered by Morocco's demands and tone, and want a thorough apology for 1994. But others -- I think a rather significant percentage -- believe that Morocco's proposal to decouple the issues of the Sahara and the border is an excellent idea (and a smaller percentage want to abandon Algerian involvement with POLISARIO altogether). Part of the attraction for Morocco in raising the border issue is, then, that it helps to drive a wedge between Algerians and the Sahara issue, if the Algerian commitment to POLISARIO starts being seen as a detriment to the country's economy -- especially, of course, in the Oran-Tlemcen regions, where trade and family ties with Morocco are strongest.

This perception is not very prevalent yet, for the simple reason that the Sahara question isn't expensive to Algeria. Western Sahara was always a war on the cheap for Algeria, while at the same time costly beyond belief for Morocco -- that was the whole point of it. The only serious Algerian expense was to keep a standing army tough enough to deter Moroccan cross-border responses. Even then, Algerian military spending has always been much smaller than Morocco's, proportionally -- and that includes significant expenses to guard against Qadhafi's antics on the eastern border. As for arming and hosting POLISARIO and the refugees, it was a minor expense even during the war years, and now in oil-flush peacetime it is absolutely negligible, while Morocco remains forced to pour billions into settling Western Sahara and buying off discontent. Even politically, Algeria expends just a fraction of the energy that its rival puts into Western Sahara. For Algeria it's enough do some casual lobbying to keep the issue going and put it on the agenda of international forums, which then forces Moroccan diplomats to rush there to put out the fire. As a result, Morocco has virtually given up on having a foreign policy outside of the Sahara, while Algeria can afford to remain heavily involved in African affairs, and to a lesser extent in Arab and Third Worldist circles.

This imbalance is also the main reason for keeping the border shut. In brief, Algeria's Saharan strategy is to bleed Morocco into submission, or into an acceptable compromise -- whichever happens first. The post-2000 arms race is part of this, which seems more and more to be a sort of a Reagan-style strategy of aggressively outspending your opponent; feasible or not, it fits neatly with the recent price increases and oil shock. Part of the idea is also that if Algeria shows total intransigence, the argument for the US and other nations to side with Morocco is severely weakened (it won't solve the conflict anyhow). Displaying any inclination to compromise, in turn, works against that objective.

Finally, as a wildcard influence on all of this, one sholdn't discount the tendency of corrupt elites to be, well, corrupt. Military-political cliques in both Morocco and Algeria are feeding off of trade and smuggling in various areas, giving them a vested interest in keeping borders shut as a crude instrument of directing trade. In Algeria, for example, today you have lots of tourists and trade going east towards Tunisia. Surely, some people who know people would be upset if half of that suddenly veered west across an opened border. And in Morocco, there is heavy military involvement in smuggling towards Mauritania and even across the Sand Wall that divides Western Sahara, as well as across the Moroccan-Algerian border. (However, it could work the other way as well: watch out for Algerian generals investing in Moroccan hotels...)

Opening the borders, for all these reasons, would be seen in Algiers to undermine a basic pillar of the strategy towards Morocco. However, the burden of keeping it shut grows heavier every day Morocco is on the airwaves asking nicely for it to be opened. Someone, somewhere, is probably making cost-benefit calculations on that as we speak. "
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Old 16 Feb 2009
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A shorter and quicker route from Europe to Gaza is by taking a ferry to Tunisia either from the south of France or Italy, avoiding Morocco and Algeria. Yet the convoy is taking a route to Spain, then boarding a ferry to Morocco. Makes you wonder why?
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Old 16 Feb 2009
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To raise awareness and garner publicity I would imagine Roman.
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  #11  
Old 16 Feb 2009
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Other Purpose

The convoy has the second function of raising awareness of the plight of the Palestinians. My take on this plight is being kicked out of their homeland, disallowed a nationality thus allowing Jews to attack them with whatever level of violence they want and it's neither war nor invasion. That they've been bombed, shot, starved, left in extreme deprivation. I'd have thought the Jews would have targeted Germany for revenge reasons. I'd like to know what's up with the Jews. I shan't say more as I do not wish to visit Cuba at the cost of the US government. Linzi.
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Old 16 Feb 2009
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It's probably down to costs and logistics. 100+ vehicles on a low-volume long-distance crossing would be difficult to organise, whereas ferries on the Straits of Gibraltar have capacity to spare.

They may also be hoping to garner more vehicles/goods/funds as they cross through Morocco and Algeria. I think the sight of this convoy on local TV will produce great digging into pockets.

Apparently another 100 vehicles will join the convoy in Libya.
Wish I was going.

Tim

PS: better to concentrate on the humanitarian angle than get bogged down in politics...
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  #13  
Old 16 Feb 2009
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imagine

lets hope that they can achive this. gaza really need these helps. they are desperate of any kind of help.

the only problem as far as i can see is the israeli controlled gaza border. even the egyptian give permission, i am not sure that israeli goverment just let them cross the border. there was a cheasefire before israel attack and an agreement between israeli government and hamas government, according to the agreement hamas was going to stop rocket attack and israelis was going to let the aid in, like water, petrol, food, medical equipment, etc. but they did not.

i wish i could live in a world like john lennon says:

imagine there's no countries,
it isn't hard to do,
nothing to kill or die for,
no religion too,
imagine all the people
living life in peace...
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  #14  
Old 16 Feb 2009
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Yes

Hi Ozhanu, yes the idea is a motivator. The songs of George Harrison are those of another peaceful person. Such a tragedy that they are both gone.Linzi
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  #15  
Old 16 Feb 2009
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"...The convoy will travel 5,000 miles through France, Spain, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia..."

My instinct would be it's the usual case we see here on HU that people think it's a cool route but don't realise Mk/Alg is closed, but we'll find out soon I guess.

the Algerian-Moroccan border was shut as a consequence of the Sahara war, and remained closed into the eighties.

Often repeated on those sorts of blogs but not correct - it was open in '82 when I went thru and much of the 80s I believe. But in 94 it did close for sure.

ozhanu has a point about Rafah. I heard a Radio 4 FOOC? podcast on how they 'slow track' all convoys trying to deliver aid (searching for ammo, etc, is the reason) so 100+ jeeps may take some while.

Ch
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