By Rafael D. Frankel, Jerusalem Post
Musaid, Libya

“Israel does not exist as a country, it is Palestine, and we do not allow occupiers into our country,” was the explanation a special representative of the Libyan government gave the nine-person group of a peace mission for barring their entrance into the country Wednesday morning.

The group, which includes three Israelis, was camped out in the no-man’s land between Egypt and Libya after failing to gain entrance to the latter country late Tuesday night.

Libya: We do not allow occupiers into our country
Members of the group trek on camels in the Eastern Sahara desert of Egypt. Photo: AP

Latif Yahia, the Iraqi participant who was once a double for the son of Saddam Hussein, Uday, and who functioned as the group’s spokesman at the border, was unsuccessful in his effort to persuade the Libyan official to allow them entry.

Read the rest of the article here.

Breaking the Ice is an international non-profit organization, established by individuals and business professionals from around the world who believe in building peace at the grassroots level. Its mission is to inspire people to transform conflicts from enmity into trust and mutual respect.

Amongst its sponsors are King Abdullah of Jordan, Shimon Peres, Hillary Clinton and the Dalai Lama. Breaking the Ice was founded by Heskel Nathaniel, 44, an Israeli businessman living in Germany, who decided to make peace his mission after he survived leukemia.

The current group consists of 10 people – Israelis, Palestinians and Iraqis – who have been traveling by camel, jeep and foot across the Sahara desert to promote peace. The idea of the mission is to put the participants into a survival situation that forces them to depend upon and trust one another. They are carrying an olive tree from Jerusalem that they want to plant in Libya, the last stop on their journey, as a gesture of peace.

Now it seems that Colonel Khadaffi is not going to allow them to complete their journey.

Read more about the fascinating backgrounds of the participants – all of whom have suffered terribly as a direct result of conflicts in the Middle East, here.