Viva Palestina by George Gallway & Yvonne Ridley

Viva Palestina convoy leaders declared their entry into Gaza a "breakthrough", smashing open the illegal siege that the Palestinian people of Gaza had imposed on them. Convoy leaders confirmed that not only medical but other forms of aid have been taken into Gaza on the convoy in almost 150 vehicles which can be used for medical and other peaceful purposes. Total aid is valued at $5 million. The convoy has been met with jubilant scenes on the way to and in Gaza City itself. Convoy leaders were also keen to correct inaccurate reports that had appeared in the New York Times and elsewhere. These claimed that the convoy had entered Gaza through Israel. These claims are entirely untrue. Viva Palestina has had a firm principle from its inception and that is it will not go through Israel to reach Gaza or hand over to Israeli authorities convoy aid. Entry into Gaza was through Egypt. The convoy sailed from Latakia in Syria to the Egyptian port of Al Arish and then drove the 40 kilometres to the Egyptian/Gaza border at Rafah where they entered the Gaza Strip. The Egyptian authorities proved very co-operative after lengthy negotiations conducted in Syria. Convoy leaders however regret the decision by the Egyptian authorities to exclude 17 members of the convoy including George Galloway.

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Yvonne Ridley
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