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Palestinian aid convoy heading for Gaza after being blocked by Egypt

Issue No. 2182

The Gaza-bound Viva Palestina convoy is now on route via Syria after the Egyptian government blocked it in Jordan.

The convoy is carrying humanitarian aid for Palestinians. Egypt would not allow the convoy to travel from Aqaba across the Red Sea to Egypt, which would have been a trip of approximately four hours.

Instead the convoy, led by George Galloway MP, has been driven back into Syria. It will now travel to Egypt via boat.

The convoy started moving again on Monday and organisers hope to access Gaza through Egypt within days.

According to Viva Palestina, “The agreement came after a Turkish mediator reached a deal with the Egyptian consul in Jordan's Red Sea port of Aqaba.

“Turkey dispatched an official on Saturday to try convince the Egyptians to allow the convoy to go through the Red Sea port of Nuweiba, the most direct route to Gaza after Egypt insisted that the convoy can only enter through El-Arish, on its Mediterranean coast.”

Some 80 vehicles left Britain on 6 December and the convoy grew to 250 trucks and up to 500 volunteers as it travelled through Europe.

Meanwhile in the Egyptian capital Cairo, hundreds of activists are camped outside the United Nations mission trying to get it to pressure the Egyptian government to let them cross the border with the Gaza Strip.

Over 1,400 activists from 42 countries have signed up to take part in the Gaza freedom march, which will mark the anniversary of the Israeli military invasion of Gaza last year by attempting to march into Gaza from Egypt.

Israeli troops killed over 1,400 Palestinians during the 22-day invasion and Gaza remains under Israeli and Egyptian blockade.

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Tue 29 Dec 2009, 15:03 GMT
Issue No. 2182
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