The CEPR delegation of over 50 European Parliamentarians is the largest yet to visit the Gaza Strip.
The CEPR Takes Part in the Biggest Parliamentary Delegation to Gaza
In mid January 2010, representatives from the Council for European Palestinian Relations (CEPR) took part the organisation of a 50-person delegation of MPs, politicians and former ministers into Gaza to witness firsthand the conditions on the ground one year after the 22-day Israeli invasion that laid waste to the Gaza Strip.
The delegation organised primarily by the European Campaign to End the Siege of Gaza (ECESG) aimed to collect and document the facts, and then return to respective countries and the European Parliament to push for actions that will bring immediate humanitarian relief and an end to the siege, as well as peace and justice to the Palestinian people.
The itinerary of the delegation included meetings with members from the Palestinian Legislative Council; Ismail Haniya, Prime Minister in Gaza; and John Ging, Director of Operations for the UN Relief & Works Agency (UNRWA).
The delegates toured the areas most affected by the recent Israeli invasion, including Izbet Abed Rabu, the Al-Fakhoura School, the Al-Salam neighborhood and the neighborhood of the Al-Samouni clan, which lost 23 members during the war.
Upon leaving Gaza, delegates met in Cairo with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abo Al-Gheit, Speaker of the Egyptian Parliament Fathi Sorour and Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa.
During our visit to Gaza, the delegation viewed firsthand much of what has been documented by international organizations, ranging from bodies of the United Nations to Oxfam and Amnesty International. In addition to touring the most damaged areas of Gaza, the ECESG delegation met with a variety of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that outlined the challenges they face in helping the people of Gaza. Among the conditions we observed for ourselves, as well as discussed with the NGOs, were acute crises in a number of sectors vital to community and family life.
The Eyewitness Report is downloadable from its source on ECESG's website Save Gaza.