Egypt Delays Whilst Gaza Suffers

The medical mission to Gaza was in difficulty even before we left South Africa: requesting permission to take 38 specialists, Egypt allowed us ten only; wanting to be there at the height of the war when it was at its greatest intensity we were only granted approval on 20 August but denied clearance till 30 August; we needed our equipment and medical supplies to accompany us but our plane is still awaiting in Skopje, Macedonia for permission from the Egyptian Government in spite of all the intense diplomatic efforts of Dirco since 24 July and in spite of Dirco being granted an official approval through a diplomatic Note Verbale by the Egyptian Government on 20 August. In essence Egypt has snubbed and insulted the South African Government and the people of South Africa.

South Africans live Ubuntu and fully support humanitarian initiatives to humanity in distress in any corner of the globe unconditionally.  South Africans embrace race, religion, colour and culture globally with an open heartedness, a manifestation of our spirituality, compassion and generosity. That humanitarian spirit is thwarted by Egypt, a country that is both Arab and Muslim, and by religious injunction should have spontaneously opened the Rafah border to fellow human in need.  What would it cost them?  What would they lose by allowing medical equipment, medical supplies and skilled medical personnel to pass through that border unhindered, speedily an indeed with total support and co-operation. You only receive blessings when you do good. Gift of the Givers are witnesses to the suffering inside Gaza where the highest price has been paid by women, children, the youth and the elderly.

We call on the Egyptian Government to respond humanely and permit the instant arrival of our plane into Cairo with rapid transit of supplies through Rafah So the medical team can enhance what miracles have already been achieved in spite of the challenges mentioned in the introduction. As South Africans we now need answers from the Egyptian Embassy in South Africa as to why life saving aid is being denied transit and entry to Gaza when so many civilians are suffering.