07 December 2003

Container No1 sits at Ashdod

The container - filled with humanitarian supplies - has now been sitting in Ashdod for sixteen weeks. The warm clothing and blankets are needed now. The nights are getting very cold and the roofs in the camps are 'tin'. The basic medical supplies are needed urgently. We have spent hours on the phone with the Israeli authorities (and with the Palestinian Authority earlier on) and jumped through all the hoops. The container was going to be released into the hands of our Gaza agent last week on payment of $6,800 when it was then announced at this very late stage that the Israeli Standards Institute wished to inspect the medical equipment. We are appealing for help from the Israeli Embassy in London. We will insist that international law and humanitarian codes be observed and that the container is despatched to Gaza without further delay or cost.