Daily Israel Report

Egypt Blocks Pro-Hamas Group's Aid Convoy to Gaza

George Galloway's Viva Palestina suffers setback after Egyptian authorities refuse to allow its aid convoy to enter Gaza.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 6/6/2012, 4:46 AM

Rafiah border closed
Rafiah border closed
Flash 90

The British pro-Hamas Viva Palestina organization suffered a setback recently, when Egyptian authorities refused to allow the organization’s aid convoy to enter Gaza. According to a report by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC), it was the sixth time that Viva Palestina failed to deliver aid to Gaza via Egypt.

Viva Palestina is headed by former British MP George Galloway, who was thrown out of the British caucus in 2003 after vocally opposing Britain’s involvement in the war in Iraq.

Galloway, who openly supports the Hamas terrorist group, tried to lead a convoy of some 150 trucks with aid to Gaza through Egypt for the first time in 2010.

Egypt blocked the effort, insisting instead that aid to Gaza should be sent through recognized international channels. The group has tried several times since, the last time being in August of 2011.

ITIC said that Egypt’s decision to prevent Viva Palestina’s members from bringing the aid into Gaza is related to the bullying behavior of the convoy members during the first incident in January of 2010. During that attempt, Galloway and the others violently confronted the Egyptian security forces. He has since been declared persona non grata in Egypt.

According to ITIC, Galloway ultimately decided to move the aid through Syria. The report noted that Bashar Assad’s regime allowed the convoy to move through, hoping to use it as a means of proving that the Syrian regime is a humanitarian one.

ITIC noted that Viva Palestina “works closely with the Muslim Brotherhood in Britain and with Hamas activists who live in Britain, as part of what is termed ‘the red-green coalition’ by the media.”

Galloway was declared a security risk and was barred from entering Canada in 2009 for a speaking tour that was organized by the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War. He was later allowed entry to Canada and began a speaking tour across the country.