A Union Of Good website has reported comments by Essam Mustafa indicating that the latest Miles of Smiles convoy is preparing to enter Gaza. According to the report:
Just few hours that separate us from fasting the first day of Ramadan, with all its meanings of blessings, mercy, and humanitarian values ,the convoy of “Miles of Smiles 4” was progressing in its way to enter Gaza Strip yesterday to embrace its children and provide them with some of the lost humanity due to the oppressive Israeli siege. Issam Mustafa, the coordinator general of the convoy told “ humanitarianvoice” yesterday while heading to Gaza via Rafah crossing “ we are just steps away from the children of Gaza, as they are waiting us in the month of Ramadan every year to draw a smile on their faces, we are eager to experience these lovely moments with them”. Mr. Mustafa added that “ this Ramadan, for us, has a special taste as we will live its first days with those innocent children who are deprived of almost everything, ans we came to tell them that we are all together , and we will not allow the enemy to snatch their smiles”. He pointed that the contents of the convoy include medical material and special vehicles for those children with special needs, noting that the Egyptian side is very cooperative to facilitate the entry of convoy’s cargo and its accompanying delegation. On the synchronization of Miles of Smiles 4 convoy with the start of Ramadan month, Mustafa explained that this has many indications , as the month of Ramadan is a month of mercy and humanitarian relations among Muslims. He went on saying “ it is an occasion for us to strengthen our contacts with Gaza inhabitants to alleviate their suffering resulted from the oppressive Israeli siege, and Ramadan is a blessing occasion for all world Muslims”. He pointed that another convoy of “Miles of Smiles” will be launched from the African continent heading to Gaza Strip during the last ten days of Ramadan. Issam Mustafa reaffirmed that “ Miles of Smiles 4” will always seek to draw a smile on faces of oppressed and besieged people of Gaza, especially those poor and patients of the coastal enclave. He concluded by saying “ We are ready to sacrifice for Gaza, and we will stay with them in their ordeal , and we will continue to come with peaceful and solidarity activists from every place in the world so that to convey their suffering for their peoples. “
An earlier post reported that Issam Mustafa (aka Issam Youssef, Essam Mustafa, Essam Youssef), the Managing Trustee of the U.K. INTERPAL, had met with the Hamas Prime Minister of Gaza in connection with an earlier Miles of Smiles convoy.
According to a NEFA Foundation report, INTERPAL is perhaps the most important of the charities comprising the Union of Good, a coalition of charities headed by Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi which helps to raise funds for Hamas. The Union of Good was banned by Israel in 2002 and was recently designated a terrorist entity by the United State. INTERPAL itself had been designated by the US in 2003. Previous posts have discussed the UK Charity Commisison’s order that INTERPAL sever its ties with the Union of Good, likely only a formality given that Essam Mustafa, the former head of the Union of Good is still the Managing Trustee of Interpal. The U.S. has attempted to persuade the U.K. government to do something about INTERPAL but the U.K. appears reluctant to anything which in their view would further antagonize its Muslim population.