Over 300 activists from Syrian aid flotilla
"Viva Palestina" crossed Thursday the Egyptian Border into Gaza by land
with tons of medical equipment and food supplies for the residents of
the coastal enclave.
According to the organizers of the
flotilla, which departed from the Syrian port of Latkia, activists
transported products worth in excess of $5 million.
Most of the
activists arrived at the Egyptian port El-Arish on flights from Syria,
while just 30 activists made the journey with the aid supplies by ship.
security services barred a Mauritania citizen who arrived with the
group from crossing the border into Gaza and his passport was taken for
inspection. While 12 Mauritania activists remained with him pending the
inspection, the remaining activists crossed the land border with Gaza
Viva Palestina activists claimed the point of
their aid flotilla was to "break the siege on Gaza" despite the fact
that Israel recently lifted many of the restrictions imposed on the
enclosed coastal strip.
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Israel imposed the blockade in 2007 after Hamas wrestled control over the territory in a violent coup.
a visit to Syria on Tuesday, former U.S. president Jimmy Carter called
for Israel to lift its blockade on the Gaza Strip. Carter made the
remarks in the forum of a delegation known as The Elders, who met with
Syrian President Bashar Assad and Hamas leaders in Syria.
"The blockade is one of the most serious human rights violations on Earth and it must be lifted fully," said Carter from Syria.
Besides Carter, the Elders delegation
includes former Irish president Mary Robinson and former UN envoy
Lakhdar Brahimi. While in Gaza, the group described Israel's blockade as
an "illegal collective punishment" and "an impediment to peace."