by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies, May 26, 2009
The European Hope Convoy carrying aid to Gaza, managed to enter the Gaza Strip, on Monday evening, via the Rafah border terminal, after reaching an agreement with the Egyptian Authorities who initially refused to allow the aid convoy into the coastal region.
Rami Abdo, coordinator of the Hope Convoy stated that the forty trucks, including 12 ambulances, managed to enter the Gaza Strip via the Rafah terminal after Egypt allowed them through under the condition that a limited number of activists would accompany the convoy into Gaza.
Egypt allowed nearly 22 out of more than a 100 activists, including some European parliamentarians, to enter Gaza.
Convoy members initially decided to head back to Europe after the Egyptian Authorities refused to allow them into Gaza, and ordered them to leave the terminal.
Hope Convoy decides to return to Europe after Egypt denies it access to Gaza
Tue, 26 May 2009 00:42:59
Organizers of the “Hope” aid convoy decided to return to Europe after the Egyptian Authorities denied the convoy access to the Gaza Strip, and after pressuring the participants into leaving the Rafah border terminal between Gaza and Egypt.
The 40-truck convoy carried medical necessities for physically challenged Palestinians, and other essential medical needs in an attempt to deliver them to the residents of the Gaza Strip.
Dr. Arafat Madi, head of the European Campaign to Lift the Siege on Gaza, said that the organizers of the convoy decided to head back to Europe due to Egypt’s pressures and demands that they leave Egyptian soil and head back to Europe.
The participants stated that it is unbelievable that the aid convoy, carrying essential medical aid to the Palestinians, would be blocked from entering the Gaza Strip.
It took two months to prepare for the convoy which includes 20 mid-size trucks, and 12 ambulances filled with aid meant to be delivered to Palestinians with special medical needs.
The aid convoy is headed by Italian senator, Fernando Rossi, and includes twelve parliamentarians from Italy, Greece, Switzerland, Ireland, the UK, and other European activists.
The convoy was prepared by several European institutions, hundreds of individuals and officials.
Convoy members expressed disappointment over the Egyptian position as the country should have facilitated the entry of aid to the Gaza Strip placed under tight and deadly siege for the third consecutive year.
The Committee said that it conducted all needed arrangement and all legal issues to ensure that the convoy makes it into the Gaza Strip, yet Egypt refused to allow the aid into Gaza.
The committee added that humanitarian aid supplies should make it into Gaza by sea or land, and that nobody has the right to block its delivery.
It is worth mentioning that several protests are to take place in front of Egyptian Ministries in several European countries.
click here for information on two U.S. delegations to Gaza in June 2009