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Egypt Lets Viva Palestina Convoy Set Sail from Syria

Egypt has given permission for a pro-Hamas Viva Palestina convoy to sail by Gaza en-route to Sinai, where it will continue by land to Gaza.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 10/18/2010, 2:19 PM / Last Update: 10/18/2010, 3:13 PM

Viva Palestina

Egypt has given permission for a pro-Hamas Viva Palestina convoy to sail by Gaza en-route to El Arish, where it will continue by land to Gaza. However, Cairo apparently has retained the ban on entry for the organization’s director, former British legislator George Galloway.

"We are going to inform the organizers of the convoy that we will allow them to sail from the Syrian port of Latakia, to the Egyptian port of El Arish," a spokesman for the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said earlier this week,

The convoy, which began in England, has been stalled in Syria for more than a week while Syrian authorities persuaded Egypt to allow the ships to enter its territory. It is expected to set sail Monday and includes ships from Algeria, Jordan, Morocco and countries in the Persian Gulf.

Two of the ships will pass through the same point where the Turkish-based and terror-linked IHH “charity” group aboard the Mavi Marmara ship attacked Israel commandos on May 31. Forty passengers of the Mavi Marmara ship are sailing with the current convoy.

Viva Palestina is leading the convoy with 380 anti-Israel activists from more than 40 countries. Organizers said they are bringing with them $5 million in medical aid and nearly 147 vehicles. Much of the previous medical aid to Gaza was found to be outdated or unusable. The Hamas terrorist organization frequently commandeers private vehicles for use by its terrorist militia.

Israel lifted most of the embargo on Gaza, except for weapons and materials that are directly liked to manufacturing rockets and other arms, and the United Nations has declared there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

The IDF reported on Sunday that 3,427 truckloads of food, fuel and other materials entered the Gaza region in September, less than usual because of the vacations during holiday season. In addition, it said that various ongoing projects are being coordinated by the Israeli government, the Palestinian Authority, and international aid organization, including the completion of 151 UNRWA housing units this month.  

The convoy is seen as just another effort to show support for Hamas, which the United States has termed an illegal terrorist group.