On May 14, 2024, GazaPassage International Envoy Edward “Coach” Weinhaus sent the organization’s letter to the Israeli Security Cabinet demanding Israel devote resources to allow the 100 GazaPassage Pilot participants to exit Gaza.

On May 15 both the Ministry of National Security and the ICT Authority confirmed receipt. Reports from within Israel note at least one other minister has seen the letter. Separately, GazaPassage has learned that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has reviewed the letter.

The original letter was also signed by Palestinian American Abir ElZowidi. Ms. ElZowidi’s harrowing account of losing six family members in Gaza in 2014 is shared below.

The original letter promised future signatories, “Future signatories and supporting organizations will be appended.” Groups and individuals reached out, primarily to Ms. ElZowidi, to sign on, including organizations and individuals from all religious faiths from coast to coast.

Spokesman Christopher Bedell stated: “In fewer than 48 hours with no media appearances, we have added churches, cantors, reverends, media watchdogs, and Palestinian organizations across the United States, and the United Kingdom.”

Critics in Israel have attacked GazaPassage and its American legal team for intentionally diverting security resources from the war effort and distracting the world from the hostages in Gaza.

Bedell snapped back at the critics: “The Israeli Security Cabinet has plenty of time to bicker about who is Washington’s ‘favorite.’ Maybe they can free up a few minutes to save some innocent lives.” Bedell deferred to the International Envoy when asked about the progress of getting security clearance for the non-combatants to leave the warzone.

GazaPassage Spokesman Christopher Bedell

The International Envoy affirmed that the signatories are imploring the Israelis to take quick action. Separately, he noted that this would be his “first rodeo” managing logistics, extraction, and transportation in a war zone. “That’s not how I envisioned my next trip to Gaza as an ‘envoy’ – I am just a lawyer. Let it be at least for saving lives.” GazaPassage is actively interviewing secondary support staff according to reports within Israel.

Bedell promised the organization would only increase international public pressure if there is any evidence of the Security Cabinet’s delay.“Coach Weinhaus is America’s most aggressive judicial reformer. Ms. ElZowidi spends her time trying to reach hundreds of Gazan family members. We are reaching out to the UK next. If Israel blows our deadline, imagine what we can do when we start doing media.”

Mr. Bedell was referring to Tuesday’s announcement when he described the organization’s next phase, “Israel can choose whether our Phase VI is about a PR campaign to pressure Israel, or the safety of innocents. My friendly advice is they decide quickly.” GazaPassage’s Phases are detailed below. GazaPassage accepts no donations.

The letter requires action by May 21st to arrange for the May 25th departure.


We were founded by a bi-partisan group of American attorneys based out of St. Louis, Missouri. Our spokesperson is Christopher Bedell, an associate at Polsinelli, We accept no donations. We are entirely volunteer-based. Our mission is to help non-combatants leave a warzone. Our phases have been publicly documented and reported.


Phase I: October 15, 2023 – Sending International Envoy to Israel
Phase II: GazaPassage Pledge created during Phase II (announced when Phase III)
Phase III: Dec: 2023 – Mission Bifurcation after Israel Says It Will Allow Gazans Back in the North
Phase IV: Jan 2024 Funding Model
Phase V: April 2024: Current Pilot Program



St. George’s Episcopal Church
The Rev. Canon Patricia O’Reilly
Hawthorne, California

USA Palestine Mental Health Network
Rebecca Fadil, Steering Committee
Washington DC

American Friends of Oasis of Peace
Robert Green, Audit Chair
New York, NY

Association of Principled Press
Anna M. Milne, Director
Walthamstow, London, UK


Daniel Pincus, Cantor, New York, NY
Sarah P. Burns, Los Angeles, CA
Jean Kunitz, Los Angeles, CA
Gloria Webster, Brockport, NY
Rev. Gordon V. Webster, Brockport, NY
Barbara Meislin, Belvedere, CA
Stuart Kaplan, San Francisco, CA
La Tisha Conto, Los Angeles, CA
Wafa Shami, San Jose, CA
Deborah First, Chautauqua, NY


Our May 14, 2024 announcement referenced Ms. ElZowidi’s 2014 interview. Due to issues with linking, the link was removed. An image of the relevant account follows: