Mon May 19, 2014 1:51AM GMT
A humanitarian aid convoy has arrived in the besieged Gaza Strip as part of efforts to break the Israeli-imposed blockade of the impoverished Palestinian coastal enclave, Press TV reports.
On Sunday, the Miles of Smiles 27 convoy entered the Gaza Strip via Egypt’s Rafah border crossing, carrying medical supplies and humanitarian assistance.
Twenty-five activists escorted the aid convoy. They would stay in Gaza for three days during which they would meet officials and visit different areas.
“We are accompanied by Algerian and Jordanian delegations which have always helped Palestinians. We come as there is happiness about the Palestinian unity deal. This year we will have high solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners and Gazans, who are under the Israeli siege,” Rashad al-Baz, coordinator of the aid convoy, said.
The Miles of Smiles 27 convoy has adopted a slogan of national unity in a show of support for a recent unity agreement signed between Hamas and Fatah.
“Our message to Palestinian families is that we would always be with them. The occupation will come to an end. We congratulate Palestinians on their national unity. This is why we have adopted the slogan of the national unity,” Saed Youssed, an activist, said.
On April 23, Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which includes Fatah party, reached a reconciliation deal to resolve their differences. Under the deal, Hamas and Fatah are to form a unity government within five weeks and hold national elections six months later.
Angered by the unity pact, the Tel Aviv regime suspended the so-called peace talks with the Palestinian Authority on April 24 and threatened to impose further sanctions against Palestinians.
“I thank God for coming to Gaza. I call on all Muslims to support Palestinians. On behalf of all Muslims, I tell Gazans that you have brothers and sisters beyond this territory,” Yahya al-Sawi, the Algerian coordinator of the Miles of Smiles 27 convoy said.
Gaza has been blockaded since June 2007, an act which has caused a decline in the standard of living as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment, and unrelenting poverty.
The apartheid regime of Israel denies about 1.7 million people in Gaza their basic rights, such as freedom of movement, jobs that pay proper wages and adequate healthcare and education.