International aid reaches Gaza from Egypt

The Viva Palestina convoy of nearly 140 vehicles, $5 million in aid and 370 passengers from 30 countries entered Gaza on Oct. 21. The convoy reportedly was carrying school and medical supplies.

The convoy left more than a month ago from London, traveling by land and sea through France, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Syria before reaching Egypt.

Gaza has been under a naval blockade by Israel since Hamas took over the coastal strip in 2007.

Egypt allowed the convoy to pass through its territory and enter Gaza through the Rafah crossing, but excluded 17 convoy members, including former British lawmaker and convoy organizer George Galloway. In January, Galloway was deported from Egypt and declared a persona non grata after attempting to bring a smaller convoy through the country to Gaza.

Several dozen passengers from the Mavi Marmara, a ship on which nine Turkish nationals died May 31 when Israel’s navy intercepted it as it attempted to break the Gaza blockade by sea, were on the Viva Palestina convoy. — jta