June 20, 2011
A European aid convoy with 53 pro-Palestinian activists has entered the Gaza Strip via the Rafah border crossing to help ease the conditions of Palestinians in the coastal sliver.
The humanitarian aid convoy, called “Miles of Smiles 3”, entered Gaza with about 30 tons of medicine, medical supplies and milk powder on Sunday, a Press TV correspondent reported.
The activists accompanying the convoy are from different nationalities and traveled thousands of miles to bring smiles to the Gazan faces, hence the convoy’s name.
They hope the aid would save lives and alleviate some of the pain and suffering of those who need medical attention in Gaza.
“It is very important to show the world that the siege has to be broken, and we have got to bring normality back to Gaza and bring the people of Gaza back into the world,” said Ibrahim Hewitt, chairman of the British independent charitable organization Interpal.
Israel laid an economic siege on the Gaza Strip in June 2007 after the democratically-elected Hamas lawmakers took over the administration of the enclave.
The blockade has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the impoverished territory.
According to the Press TV report, over 360 patients have died since 2007 due to frequent medicine shortages and travel restrictions.
Some 1.5 million people in the enclave have been denied their basic rights, including the freedom of movement and their rights to appropriate living conditions, work, health and education.