Viva Palestina has announced the formation of a Gaza land convoy known as “Viva Palestina 5 – a global lifeline to Gaza”, to leave London in mid-September and time to arrive in coordination with the next international sea flotilla. According to the announcement:
The terrible massacre aboard the Mavi Marmara on 31 May has brought a sea change in international opinion against the inhumane siege on the people of Gaza. Far from deterring people from seeking to bring that siege to an end, the Israeli assault on the Freedom Flotilla is spurring on even more people to bring humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip and to end the blockade. Viva Palestina has organised three massive land convoys to Gaza in the last 18 months – all of which have delivered their aid – and participated in the latest flotilla. Over the last few weeks we have been discussing with partner organisations how to coordinate relief efforts by land and sea so as to have the maximum impact. As a result Viva Palestina is launching “Viva Palestina 5 – a global lifeline to Gaza”, a gigantic land convoy leaving London on Saturday, 18th September in conjunction with convoys leaving from Casablanca and Doha and timed to coordinate with a larger and even more international flotilla aiming to reach Gaza by sea at the same time as the land convoys reach by land. Viva Palestina will be leading the Land Convoy, a Global Lifeline To Gaza, working in partnership with the International Committee to Break the Siege on Gaza and organisations from Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Australasia, India, South Africa and more. Saturday 18 September will certainly be the first clear Saturday after the month of Ramadan. We are aiming, with the two other legs of the land convoy, to take 500 vehicles with aid to Gaza carrying medical equipment, educational supplies and the wherewithal to rebuild a destroyed mosque, a school for orphans and to construct a maternity facility in Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza. We will be supporting the international flotilla that is scheduled for the same time.
The announcement goes on to report that Viva Palestrina is also planning to support the next flotilla of ships to Gaza.
Viva Palestina is a UK registered charity associated which is currently under investigation by U.K. authorities and which is associated with its founder George Galloway, a long-time supporter of Palestinian causes. The organization has organized several convoys of humanitarian aid to Gaza including the first convoy where Galloway was reported to have handed cash and three cars to Hamas leader Ismail Haniyah and the second convoy where Galloway met again with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyah. Previous posts have discussed Galloway’s trips to the U.S. in conjunction with the convoys including a trip in March 2009 where he participated in a Northern Virginia fund-raising event in which Muslim American Society leader Mahdi Bray was also scheduled to appear.
The International Committee to Break the Siege of Gaza (ICBSG) is a Hamas front organization led by Mohammad Sawalha, its Vice-President. The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC) has published a profile of Hamas activist and U.K. Muslim Brotherhood leader Muhammad Kazem Sawalha, describing him as follows:
Muhammad Kazem Sawalha is a senior Hamas activist who publicly supports jihad and was formerly involved in both political and operational Hamas activities in Judea and Samaria, including running the terrorist operative infrastructure. He was wanted by the Israeli security services but in October 1990 used forced documents to escape to Jordan, and from there went to Britain. In Britain he has been involved in intensive anti-Israeli activities within the Islamic community, with the Muslim Brotherhood and with British organizations providing support for the de facto Hamas administration in the Gaza Strip.
The ITIC report goes on to discuss Mr. Sawalha’s numerous ties to the Global Muslim Brotherhood.
Previous posts have reported on the pivotal role played by the Global Muslim Brotherhood in the Gaza flotilla.