Asia 1 aid convoy activists arrive in Gaza


The Asia to Gaza Solidarity Caravan, (Asia 1), the first aid convoy from the southern hemisphere arrived in the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing. But Egyptian authorities prevented 20 Iranian activists and few Jordanians with the convoy from entering Egypt, according to reports

Some 105 human rights activists gathered at the crossing. Most of them flew to Egypt from Syria. Eight activists arrived at the Egyptian port of El Arish onboard a ship carrying tons of humanitarian aid.

The aid convoy started its journey in the Indian capital, New Delhi. It passed through Iran, Turkey, Lebanon and Syria and had planned to arrive in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip by December 27, the second anniversary of Israel’s “Operation Cast Lead” offensive on Gaza.

Journalists accompanying the convoy spoke of the arduous journey to Gaza.

The convoy’s aid cargo is expected to arrive in Gaza later Monday, after traveling separately from Syria to Egypt by boat, Indian organizer Feroz Mesberola said.

The boat is carrying one million dollars worth of medicine, foodstuffs and toys as well as four buses and 10 power generators for hospitals, Palestinian officials have said.

The convoy was organized in part by the Turkish Foundation of Humanitarian Relief (IHH), which put together a previous ill-fated attempt to break the Israeli embargo on Gaza with a naval aid convoy in May 2010.