Monday, 20 September 2010

Syrian Aid Ship Sailed to Gaza

Syrian Aid Ship Sailed to Gaza

20/09/2010 A ship with 650 tons of Syrian humanitarian aid on board set off on Saturday from Tartous harbor to the Gaza Strip, the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency reported.

The aid is offered by the Syrian people to the people in Gaza in a sign of solidarity against the Israeli unjust blockade on the Strip.

State Minister for the Syrian Red Crescent Affairs Bashar al-Shaar said the ship, which sailed to Gaza via the Egyptian El-Arish Harbor, carries 650 tons of humanitarian aid, 40 tons of which are medical aid.

''The Syrian people, from all walks of life, took part in the donations, mainly the NGOs and economic bodies,'' said al-Shaar, hoping it will alleviate the suffering of the besieged Palestinians in Gaza.

Chairman of the Syrian Red Crescent Organization Abdulrahman al-Attar hoped the aid will find its way to Gaza as soon as possible to ease the plight of the Palestinians there as a result of Israel's unjust siege on Gaza.

On Saturday morning a large land convoy, "the largest flotilla yet”, has begun making its way from around the world to the Gaza Strip.

Vehicles were loaded onto ships and are en-route to the el-Arish Port where they hope to be allowed to unload and drive into Gaza.

According to press reports, about 450 vehicles are expected to participate in the land convoy which is organized by former British lawmaker George Galloway

Vehicles are coming from England, Qatar, Kuwait, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. In January, the Egyptians banned Galloway from using their territory for Gaza-bound convoys and accused the former British lawmaker’s organization Viva Palestina of criminal activity.

In August, an all-woman aid boat from Lebanon delayed its plans to set sail for Gaza, after Israel warned it would use force if necessary to prevent the ship from docking. The voyage of the boat, christened "The Mariam," planned to sail from a Greek-controlled Cyprus port, which later said it will not be allowing the ship to travel.

The wave of aid ships hoping to dock in Gaza follows an Israeli raid on the Freedom Flotilla in international waters on 31 May, during which Israeli commandos killed nine Turkish nationals.

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