1st African aid convoy heads for Gaza

1st African aid convoy heads for Gaza
Mon Jun 27 2011
The first overland African convoy has set out for the impoverished Gaza Strip, carrying humanitarian relief aid to the besieged coastal sliver.

The convoy, comprising 21 activists and a dozen vehicles, carries much needed aid that include medical supplies, basic essentials, milk powder, generators and materials to build 10 houses, a Press TV correspondent reports.

Starting the road trip from the South African city of Durban, the aid convoy is expected to reach Gaza by the end of July.

“Today we stand here in total, unconditional, universal support of this initiative. God bless you as you travel to the land and reach the dear people of Palestine,” said Michael Abrahams of Durban mayor’s office.

All of the vehicles will be donated to the Gaza municipality.

However, Egyptian authorities have stated that they will not allow the convoy onto Egyptian thoroughfares.

The organizers of the convoy said the aim was not only to take aid to Gaza, but also to raise awareness across Africa about the plight of those living in the blockaded enclave.

A European aid convoy with 53 pro-Palestinian activists entered Gaza via the Rafah border crossing on June 19.

In a recent development, Israel’s Navy said it would stop the Freedom Flotilla II convoy which is scheduled to set sail towards Gaza on Tuesday. The convoy will be comprised of 15 ships, 22 organizations and around 1,500 activists.

The Israeli military attacked the Freedom Flotilla in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea on May 31, 2010, killing nine Turkish nationals aboard the Turkish-flagged MV Mavi Marmara and injuring about 50 other activists that were part of the team on the six-ship convoy.

The Israeli regime laid an economic siege on Gaza in June 2007 after an elected Hamas government took control of the strip.

Some 1.5 million people in Gaza are being denied their basic rights, including the freedom of movement and the right to appropriate living conditions, work, health and education.

HSN/MB/HRF

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