Wed, 06 Jan 2010 17:48:07 GMT
The Viva Palestina aid convoy entered Gaza Wednesday, after it received the approval of Egyptian authorities to bring into the besieged, impoverished coastal sliver several tons of humanitarian supplies.
The activists entered Gaza through Rafah border crossing. More than 500 international activists accompany the convoy organized by the British-based group Viva Palestina, a Press TV correspondent reported.
Fifty-nine vehicles were not allowed into the strip but the supplies were unloaded and taken through by the activists.
The Egyptian approval came after activists and security forces clashed earlier in the day when Cairo refused to allow part the aid convoy to pass through its land to the Hamas-ruled territory.
More than 55 activists and over a dozen members of the security forces were injured in the clashes. Some sixty convoy-members were also arrested.
Gaza has been under a tight Israeli blockade since June 2007 when the democratically elected Hamas took control of the area. Egypt has come under fire from Arab and Muslim groups for cooperating with Israel.
British lawmaker George Galloway, who is accompanying the convoy, said that the activists had been forced to renegotiate with the Egyptian authorities.
“We refused this because it’s a breach of the agreement which we reached in Aqaba between the government of Egypt and the Turkish side,” he said. “It is completely unconscionable that 25 percent of our convoy should go to Israel and never arrive in Gaza, because nothing that goes to Israel ever arrives in Gaza.”
Egyptian authorities had also refused the convoy entry into the country from the Red Sea, forcing it to change course to a Mediterranean port.
Clashes on Gaza-Egypt Rafah border
January 06, 2010
Al Jazeera English Wed 06 Jan 2010 @ 1330GMT: 9 Egyptian soldiers injured, 1 shot dead during clashes at rally protesting attack on aid convoy and construction of new underground wall.Vodpod videos no longer available.
Viva Palestina Convoy Arrives in Gaza
January 06, 2010
Al Jazeera Wed 6 Jan 2010 @ 2000GMT: Al Jazeera reports on arrival of Viva Palestina Convoy, includes interview with George Galloway and report on earlier fatal clashes at the Rafah border.Vodpod videos no longer available.
Viva Palestina Convoy Press TV News Analysis – PART 1
Part 1of 2 – Wed 6 Jan 2010: Interview, discussion and analysis with Betty Hunter, General Secretary of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Assad Abu Sharekh.Vodpod videos no longer available.
Part 2 of 2 – Wed 6 Jan 2010: Interview, discussion and analysis with Betty Hunter, General Secretary of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Assad Abu Sharekh.Vodpod videos no longer available.
Viva Palestina Convoy Rafah Crossing Interviews
Wed 6 Jan 2010 @ 1820GMT: Clips from Press TV coverage of Convoy arrival in Gaza. Interviews with Derry, Slough and others. Stills: http://is.gd/5ONT8Vodpod videos no longer available.