January 09, 2010
George Galloway’s Viva-Palestina convoy finally arrived in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday with a cargo of activists and humanitarian aid.
They’ve made it to the Gaza strip a month after leaving Europe, but its been a month marked by diplomatic tensions, enforced changes of route, and in the final hours, violent clashes with egyptian security forces.
Was it worth it? and could it have been handled differently? What are the politics behind the scenes?
by John Hurson
Ireland To Gaza
2 Jan. 2010
Today, Saturday January 2nd, the 250 vehicles that make up the “Viva Palestina Convoy” were loaded onto a Turkish cargo ship in the port city of Latikia in Syria. The ship will set sail tonight for El Arish port in Egypt.
The crossing will take 26 hours, having had a futher 8 hours added to it’s journey time by Israeli pressure. Tomorrow, over 500 members of the convoy will fly to El Arish and meet up with their vehicles.
A plane has been charted by Viva Palestina, the Turkish and Malaysian Governments, and it will make 3 trips in order to fly everyone to Egypt.
Having arrived in Aqaba, Jordan on December 24th, the convoy has faced numerous difficulties in the intervening time.
December 27, 2009
Since June 2007 Gaza has been under a crippling blockade with few essential goods making it through. Now an aid convoy of 250 trucks and ambulances is attempting to reach the Strip to deliver much needed supplies. But a bureaucratic argument with Egypt is holding it back in Aqaba in southwest Jordan. Al Jazeera’s Clayton Swisher reports.