We received word last night from our friends at Rebuilding Alliance that Husam El Nounou from Grassroots International’s partner, the Gaza Community Mental Health Program, has returned safely to his home in Gaza.
Husam, like thousands of other Palestinians, had been stuck in Egypt after having been denied entry back into Gaza as Israel had sealed Gaza’s borders following the Hamas takeover of the Strip and the dismissal of the unity government by Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.
Husam had traveled to the United States in early June to take part in a Rebuilding Alliance speaking tour and to speak at the rally and march in Washington DC organized by the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation commemorating 40 years of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. Since his return from the U.S. on June 15, 2007, he had been unable to get back into Gaza and join his wife, children, family, and work…until last night!
Husam is one of the lucky ones, many more Palestinians are being denied the right to return home.
Below is the message from Husam and the Rebuilding Alliance:
Husam El Nounou returned home to Gaza at 10:30 pm last night, via the Erez Checkpoint. His luggage was sent through today at noon.
“Please thank everyone for all their help on my behalf,” said Husam. “At last I am back with my family!”
We especially want to thank those who contacted their congresspeople. Many found that staffers wanted to help and started making calls on their constituents’ behalf to express concern about Husam’s situation and the blockade of Gaza. One constituent was even asked to draft a statement the congressman could read into the Congressional Record (full report coming soon).
Please take a moment now to call your representative’s office to let them know Husam El Nounou is safely home.
“Ask them to do all they can to allow more people to enter each day,” said Husam. “So far only 300/day are allowed to cross…that means it will take some 20 work days, more than a month, to bring everyone home…And tell them to redouble their efforts to speak out against the ongoing blockade and siege of Gaza so that 1.4 million hungry people can feed their families and go back to work.