The Gaza-bound humanitarian aid convoy, Viva Palestina , has been given permission by the Egyptian government to enter the Mediterranean port of El Arish.
The aid convoy, which represents the fifth such attempt by the UK-based charity Viva Palestina , was expected to leave the Syrian port city of Latakia for El Arish before heading for the Gaza Strip.
The aid mission, nicknamed ‘Lifeline 5’ and led by the charity’s director and former British lawmaker George Galloway, intends to deliver basic humanitarian supplies to Gaza.
The move defies the all-out land, aerial and naval siege Israel has imposed on the coastal sliver since mid-June 2007. The blockade deprives the enclave’s 1.5 million residents of food, fuel and other necessities.
The convoy includes around 40 vehicles from Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Mauritania and is expected to climb to over 100 as other countries are contributing more aid vehicles to the humanitarian mission, according to a Press TV reporter in Syria.
Cairo has been helping Tel Aviv enforce the siege by keeping closed its Rafah border-crossing with Gaza, which is the enclave’s only terminal that bypasses Israel.
In January, Egyptian riot police clashed with the activists, injuring 55 people in El Arish on a previous Viva Palestina convoy.