No Christmas Cheer from Egyptian Authorities
25th December 2009
The Egyptian government has denied entry to the Viva Palestina Aid Convoy carrying medical and humanitarian aid to Gaza.
Hundreds of tonnes of aid, including specialised medical equipment and powdered milk for babies, is now stockpiled in the Jordanian port town of Aqaba waiting for permission to enter Egypt via the Straits of Aqaba.
The international convoy of approximately 150 vehicles and more than 400 people from 17 countries was given the news by the Egyptian Consulate in Aqaba late on Christmas Eve.
British MP George Galloway, who is travelling with the convoy, said “We feel very sad that Egypt has turned us away on Christmas Day, but we hope they will reconsider. This is a very determined convoy and we're not going anywhere except to Gaza.”
The convoy, jointly organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign in the UK, left London on 6th December. It has enjoyed safe passage through Europe, Turkey, Syria and Jordan on its way to Gaza.
It hopes to enter Gaza and break Israel's three and a half year illegal blockade of the Strip via the Rafah border crossing with Egypt on 27th December.
The date marks the first anniversary of the beginning of Israel's three week land, air and sea assault on Gaza, which killed more than 1400 Palestinians.
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