VIVA PALESTINA 5: New land convoy on its way to Gaza September 21, 2010

Palestine Note -  20 September 2010

A new land convoy has left from the United Kingdom on its way to the Gaza strip. The convoy dubbed “Viva Palestina 5 convoy” departed from London on Saturday and will be joined by a number of participants from other countries before it attempts to cross the Rafah border from Egypt, Al Jazeera English reported.

According to news reports, about 450 vehicles were expected to participate in the convoy which is organized by former British Member of Parliament George Galloway, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Al Jazeera’s Tania Page, reporting from London, said organizers of the trip say the attempt is the biggest and most international aid convoy ever bound for Gaza. “By the time the convoy reaches the Strip it will have grown from 15 vehicles to 150 – picking up support across Europe and the Arab world,” she said.

“Most of the journey will be over land, but the aid will be transferred to ships for transportation between Syria and Egypt, she added. “”The aid workers hope to deliver their supplies through the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza early next month.”

Galloway announced the September 18 launch of the flotilla in an August opinion article he ran in the British publication Morning Star.

Members of the convoy have planned to hold a remembrance ceremony as they pass the spot where Israeli troops conducted a deadly raid on another aid flotilla destined for Gaza on May 31, said Al Jazeera.

Organizers of the Viva Palestina convoy said the actions of the Israeli army against the aid flotilla brought a change in international opinion against the seige on Gaza. “Far from deterring people from seeking to bring that siege to an end, the Israeli assault on the Freedom Flotilla is spurring on even more people to bring humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip and to end the blockade,” the group said in a statement on its website.

“As a result Viva Palestina is launching ‘Viva Palestina 5 – a global lifeline to Gaza’ … in conjunction with convoys leaving from Casablanca and Doha and timed to coordinate with a larger and even more international flotilla aiming to reach Gaza by sea at the same time as the land convoys reach by land,” added the group.

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