SARA RESCHEDULES GAZA ROAD CONVOY DEPARTURE

The SA Relief Agency (SARA) has been communicating with the Egyptian authorities to facilitate the passage of its road convoy to Gaza via Egypt since early February and has been granted entry via El Arish on the Mediterranean sea. However; the Egyptian authorities have recently set additional conditions that we now have to comply with and are working towards. Consequently, SARA regrets to announce that the departure of its convoy from Durban has been provisionally rescheduled for 15 May 2011; the 63rd anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba.

SARA sincerely apologizes for this unforeseen delay, due entirely to reasons beyond its control. SARA would like to take this opportunity to reiterate its unanswering commitment to this mission and thank its many supporters for their generosity, concern and care.

Sheikh Walid El Saadi

GAZA

S.A.R.A. ANNOUNCES FIRST EVER OVERLAND CONVOY TO GAZA

In its on-going efforts to provide support and assistance to the long-suffering people of Palestine, the South African Relief Agency (S.A.R.A) in conjunction with communities and other organisations has embarked on another humanitarian relief mission to Gaza. The mission is scheduled to depart from Durban during the first week of April 2011 and will travel overland through Africa to Gaza. The primary objective of the mission is to answer the call of the Palestinian people to conscientise the African continent and to break the immoral and illegal siege of Gaza and show solidarity with the beleaguered people in Occupied Palestine.

 The 10 000km journey is estimated to take 4 weeks travelling via Botswana, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt.

The aid convoy, comprising ten trucks, will be transporting material to build approximately twenty houses, medical supplies and equipment, basic essentials and portable electricity generators. The building material is an innovative South African concept using the minimum amount of concrete and no bricks. The South African team will be physically involved in the construction of the first batch of houses whilst empowering the locals to continue with the rebuilding of their destroyed homes.

The significance of a South African and African presence in entering Gaza and Breaking the Siege cannot be over emphasized. Palestinians see the hope of freedom in South Africans who have broken the shackles of apartheid.

Further information can be obtained via the website http://www.sarelief.net or send an email to info@sarelief.net. Media interviews can be arranged by calling 031 306 7738 during office hours.

Gaza awaits an African Convoy

This was the call made by the Gaza delegation on their recent visit to South Africa. The delegation were hosted in Cape Town by the Al Quds Foundation. A number of public talks and community lectures were held throughout Cape Town. They went on to Gauteng where the Media Review Network organised high profile meetings and a public lecture. SA Relief Agency also held a public forum and a meeting with the Premier of KZN, Dr Zweli Mkhize.

The delegation from the Committee of Breaking the Siege, stated the importance of an African convoy to Gaza. The delegation shared their experience of living in Gaza with South Africans who have supported them with aid. They called on South Africans to raise awareness of the Palestinian siege; boycott Israeli goods entering South Africa; and ask Allah to liberate Palestine and get rid of Israeli occupation.

MAHMOUD EL MADHOUN a member of the Committee for Breaking the Siege expressed his gratitude to various South African teams who visited Gaza in recent years. He said that the Committee would like to see a convoy from Africa come to Gaza as soon as possible. Gaza has welcomed many convoys but none from Africa. “We eagerly await to welcome the African Convoy to Gaza”, said El Madhoun.

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GAZA delegation to visit Durban

A delegation of government and civil society are visiting Durban from  Sunday 7th November for 2 days.  The group is being hosted by SARA (South African Relief Agency) who visited GAZA in July this year. The delegation hopes to share their experience of living in GAZA with South Africans who have supported them with aid and have helped break the siege of GAZA. 

 They wish to personally show their appreciation and interact with South Africans on how more tangible projects can be initiated and to have a more sustainable approach to aid.

Gaza has been subjected to an Israeli blockade that denied the people of basic commodities like fuel water books and cement to rebuild their lives after the destruction caused by Israel in a month long bombardment in 2008/2009. Infra-structure and emergency supplies to sustain the 1.5 million people in the enclave has been a struggle. 

Due to popular demand, SARA will be hosting another Gaza is Alive event at NMJ Islamic Centre on Monday 8th November at 7pm. Listen to heart and soul accounts of events unfolding in Palestine.

Ladies facilities provided. All welcome.