British Member of Parliament George Galloway has leveled strong criticism at Arabs over their inaction and failure to play a role in organizing aid convoys to the besieged Gaza Strip.
“It is a shame that this convoy [Lifeline 3] is coming from Europe and not from the Arab countries,” Galloway told reporters upon his arrival at Damascus International Airport.
He said that Lifeline 3 charity convoy is a message of solidarity with the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip on the first anniversary of the Israeli onslaught against the coastal sliver.
Israel’s three-week offensive against Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009 left more than 1,400 Palestinians dead, more than half of them civilians, according to medical sources. The Israeli assault also led to the destruction of schools, mosques, houses as well as UN compounds, inflicting $ 1.6 billion damage on the Gaza economy.
The British anti-war activist added that the third Viva Palestina convoy is aimed to direct the world’s attention to Israeli war criminals who committed the horrendous crimes in Gaza as well as the courageous Palestinian resistance. He voiced hope that the Egyptian authorities would secure the arrival of the convoy without hindrance.
Galloway meanwhile expressed his deep gratitude to Syrian authorities for the contribution they made to facilitate the entry of the Lifeline 3 convoy organized by the UK-based Viva Palestina movement. Galloway described Syria as a fortress and the symbol of pride that has never forsaken Palestine.
The third international convoy to Gaza departed from London on December 5, 2009. The convoy is made up of volunteers from Britain, Ireland, Belgium and Malaysia, who have raised hundreds of thousands of pounds in their local communities to pay for ambulances, minibuses, vans and lorries and to fill them with medical and other aid that is desperately needed in Gaza.
Lifeline 3 will arrive in Gaza on December 27 through the Rafah border crossing to make a dent in the ongoing Israeli blockade imposed on the impoverished enclave.
Israeli political and military authorities now face the possibility of international prosecution and arrest over war crimes in the Gaza Strip. A British court has issued an arrest warrant for former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.
The UN Security Council awaits investigative reports ordered pursuant to recommendations made by UN investigator Richard Goldstone, who detailed countless Israeli war crimes not just in the attacks on Gaza in 2008, but throughout the Israeli siege, which began in 2006.
Meanwhile, Egypt is building a wall along its border with Gaza which is installed and funded by the US in order to block the tunnels that have served as the only lifeline for needed food, household and consumer goods in Gaza.