Gaza aid convoy committee to file lawsuit against Arab Bridge Maritime Company

Gaza aid convoy committee to file lawsuit against Arab Bridge Maritime Company

Jul 22, 2010 | 00:00 Updated: Feb 14, 2012 | 12:19

By Mohammad Ben Hussein

AMMAN – The Gaza aid convoy committee on Wednesday said it is preparing to file a compensation lawsuit against the Arab Bridge Maritime Company (ABMC) for refusing to allow activists to board its ferries in Aqaba.

Some 25 lawyers formed a team to file a lawsuit against the company for breaking its promise to allow dozens of activists to travel to Egypt en route to Gaza, Abdul Fatah Keilani, head of the Gaza convoy committee, said in a press conference yesterday at the Professional Associations Complex.

The decision comes a day after the convoy returned from Aqaba, where it spent nearly a week awaiting clearance from Egyptian authorities.

The convoy, which included some 150 activists and 25 trucks carrying basic humanitarian aid, left Amman last week in hopes of crossing to the Egyptian Port of Nuweibeh and then travel overland to the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip.

Legal experts from the Jordan Bar Association said they have a solid case against the ABMC, as the company had no right to refuse to transport Jordanians since it is the sole operator on the sea route between Jordan and Egypt.

On Sunday, the ABMC informed the delegation that Egypt agreed to allow them to proceed to Nuweibeh, but when they went to board the ferry they were told that they would not be granted entry, according to convoy organiser Wael Saqa.

Association activists were planning to lay the foundation for a children’s hospital in Deir Al Balah in the Gaza Strip, a project financed by the Jordan Engineers Association, the Jordan Contractors Association and the Housing Investors Association.

Ahmad Armouti, president of the Professional Associations Council, said he hoped Egypt would change its position on allowing aid into Gaza through the Rafah border crossing.

He called on the government to persuade Cairo to allow other convoys reach the Hamas-controlled coastal enclave.

“Our message to break the siege has been delivered. We hope more efforts will be exerted to shed light on the plight of Gazans under the siege,” Armouti said.

More aid campaigns will be organised in the near future as efforts intensify to break the blockade on Gaza, according to Saqa.

He said the associations will take part in an international aid convoy from London, dubbed “Miles of Smiles”, which is expected to head to Gaza from the port city of Latakia in Syria.

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