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Just received from Gaza

Good Morning from Gaza City,

The boats of SS Liberty and SS Free Gaza arrived safely in Larnaca
Cyprus last night with some of the original passengers and 9
Palestinians from the Gaza Strip aboard.

About 9 of our original international passengers stayed on in Gaza
to do media and other work.

Yesterday, British Journalist Lauren Booth and I attempted to exit
via Eretz Crossing into Israel, accompanied by sick Palestinians
needing specialty care not available in Gaza.

The Israeli border guards threatened to shoot us, but we advanced
slowly with our arms raised holding our passports up high; We
advanced right through the tunnel right up to the iron gate, but the
Israelis would not open it. The US and British Embassy's gave us the
Royal run around and would not help us.

So after a visit to Beit Hanoun to see the Al Athamna Family, who
are still in a state of grief from the massacre of 19 members of their
family by Israeli mortar shells 2 years ago, we headed back to Gaza
City. So now we are waiting for the Egyptian authorities to let us
out of Gaza through Rafah. They are under pressure from Israel to
keep us trapped in here. Now I am getting a better appreciation of
what it means to be a Palestinian from Gaza.

I will keep you posted as best I can. It has been a grueling, but
very worthwhile month.

Dr. Bill Dienst, Gaza

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