I am neither a historian, decent author or a journalist and the chances are, unless there is a link or reference to somewhere else, the perpetrator is your's truly-Renaud Sarda.
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Wednesday, 6 June 2012
The pro-Hamas British organization Viva Palestina recently failed in its latest attempt to send an aid convoy to Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
George Galloway collects donations in Bradford, England, for Hamas in the Gaza Strip before the convoy sets out (YouTube).
The British pro-Hamas organization Viva Palestina recently failed it in its latest attempt to send a convoy its sixth convoy to the Gaza Strip. TheEgyptian authorities refused to allow the convoy to enter Egyptian territory, in our assessment because of the violent behavior of the activists participating in the January 2010 convoy. At that time they confronted the Egyptian security forces in a kind of rehearsal for the events aboard the Mavi Marmara a few months later. (Viva Palestina head George Galloway was declared persona non grata by Egypt because of the January 2010 confrontation.) 2. In addition, disagreements broke about among the activists participating in the convoy over its passage through Syria, a country loathsome to Western public opinion. In the end Galloway decided to send the convoy through Syria anyway, and its passage was in fact exploited by Bashar Assad's regime for propaganda.
Viva Palestina specializes in sending overland convoys with material and financial aid to Hamas and its de-facto administration in the Gaza Strip. George Galloway, an extreme left British MP who is hostile to Israel, often makes public statements defaming Israel and identifying with Hamas ideology (including support for the Palestinian refugees' so-called "right of return" and the establishment of a Palestinian fundamentalist, Islamic, Hamas greater Palestinian state [i.e., on the territory of the State of Israel[.
The organization collaborates closely with the Muslim Brotherhood in Britain and with the Hamas operatives living there (what the media call the anti-Israel "red-green coalition"), the most prominent of whom is Zaher Birawi, a Hamas activist who although living inBritain he serves as Hamas' Judea and Samaria representative in the movement's institutions and conferences which take place outside the Palestinian territories. He has been deeply involved in dispatching Viva Palestina convoys, and while his formal role is that of organization spokesman, in our assessment he actually liaises between Viva Palestina and Hamas.
The Troubles Plaguing the Sixth Viva Palestina Convoy
The Passage through Syria
The Viva Palestina 6 convoy began organizing in February 2012, intending to leave London in April and arrive in the Gaza Strip for Nakba Day (May 15, 2012). According to the organizers, its arrival was supposed to symbolize the so-called "return" to Palestine, the "right of return" and the realigning of the Palestinian cause in the center of public attention.
The convoy set out from Bradford (the district George Galloway has represented in Parliament since the beginning of 2012) in the last week of April, going to Bulgaria. From there it went to Turkey and from Turkey to Syria. George Galloway did not go with the convoy, he flew directly to Cairo to join the convoy.
During the trip the convoy participants disagreed about the proposed passage through Syria. As a result, several aid groups left, claiming they were not willing to go through Syria and would instead fly to Cairo. They said they did not want to give the Syrian regime the opportunity to make political capital at the expense of a humanitarian delegation to the Gaza Strip. George Galloway, on the other hand, had no objection, saying that go through Syria did not indicate support for the regime (Blogs of convoy participants, Twitter, May 2, 2012).
After having been delayed by the Turks, on May 9 the convoy entered Syria, where the Assad regime continues massacring Syrians. As expected, its presence was exploited for purposes of Syrian propaganda. It was received by the governor of Latakia and the local Baath Party secretary. The members of the convoy thanked the Syrians for their hospitality and denounced the pressure exerted and sanctions imposed on Syria by Western and other countries (Syrian News Agency, May 9, 2012).
On May 11 the convoy reached Jordan. After negotiations with the Jordanian authorities, 22 activists received permission to spend the night in Amman. From Amman the convoy participants went to the port of Aqaba where they waited for permission to enter Egypt (Khabrani, May 11; and Al-Dustour, May 13, 2012). While the convoy was en route, George Galloway himself visited Lebanon, where he met with Nabih Berri, chairman of the Lebanese parliament, and former Lebanese presidents Emile Lahoud and Salim al-Hoss. George Galloway told them that the Palestinian cause was the most important of all the Arab causes, and called on the people of Syria to allow the convoy to pass through their country on its way to the Gaza Strip (Al-Safir, May 9, 2012).
Entry to Egypt Denied
After having waited in vain in Aqaba for three weeks for permission to enter the Gaza Strip, the Viva Palestina 6 activists had no choice but to return to Britain(a convoy from Jordan which set out at about the same time entered without difficulty).
Kevin Ovenden, a British far left activist, the convoy's general coordinator and a participant of the Mavi Marmara flotilla, held a press conference in Jordan. He said that the convoy had invested great efforts during the three weeks to acquire the necessary authorization to enter the Gaza Strip, but without success. However, he said, "the reasons were unclear." He said the activists had received promises from the Egyptian authorities that even George Galloway, who in the past had been denied entry into Egypt, would receive permission to stay in Egypt for 14 days. George Galloway reached Cairo but thenecessary permits did not arrive at the Egyptian consulate in Aqaba (Al-Quds, May 29, 2012).
Ovenden reported that the humanitarian aid the convoy was planning to bring to the Gaza Strip would be sent via the Jordanian Hashemite Charity Organization in coordination with the Jordanian trade unions. Some of it would be distributed in the refugee camps in Jordan. He added that they intended to organize additional convoys (Al-Dustour, May 29, 2012).
Two appendices follow:
Appendix I: Viva Palestina and the convoys it sends to the Gaza Strip
 For further information see the March 8, 2011 bulletin about the Palestinian Return Centre in London, "The Palestinian Return Centre: London-based center for anti-Israeli propaganda, affiliated with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, outlawed in Israel. It promotes the demand of the Palestinian refugees to return as a way of destroying Israel…"
 His entry (and that of others) into Egypt was forbidden because he had been declared persona non grata by virtue of his involvement in the violent confrontation between activists of the third Viva Palestina convoy, which he headed, and the Egyptian security forces in January 2010.