Thursday, October 14, 2010

(NEWS) Viva Palestina Aid Convoy Granted Passage To Gaza Through Egypt.

"The convoy will sail to the Egyptian port of A-Arish and from there cross into Gaza from Egypt. The permission comes only after a tense stand-off that was mediated by several countries. The 400 member convoy was promised free passage across the border into Gaza.

The tense eight day stand-off and followed mediation by several countries including Syria to persuade the Egyptians to agree to the passage. Still not all is clear sailing as Egypt may yet impose some conditions on the convoy's passage. For example, Egypt might not let George Galloway, the convoy leader, to set foot on Egyptian soil.

Organisers claim that convoy is the biggest and most international convoy ever to head for the Gaza strip. There are 148 vehicles with more than five million dollars worth of aid including medication and school equipment. There are activists from more than 30 countries including the U.S. New Zealand, Indonesia, Morocco, and South Africa.

There are several politicians and elected officials who joined the convoy and about 30 veterans of the Mavi Marmara attack by Israeli commandos. There has been an Israeli imposed blockade on Gaza after Hamas took over the area. Israel has recently relaxed certain restrictions on goods entering the strip but there are still shortages. Construction materials that are essential for reconstruction after the extensive damage during the Israeli incursion are still severely restricted. Exports are not allowed. Freedom of movement of Gazans is still much restricted and the naval blockade remains." (source)

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