DAMASCUS — An aid ship backed by Asian activists will soon set sail for the blockaded Gaza Strip from Syria, a spokesman for Palestinian groups based in Syria said on Monday.
The Sierra Leone-flagged Asia 1 is awaiting the green light from Egypt to sail to the Egyptian port of El-Arish from where its cargo is to be carried over land to Gaza, Khaled Abdel-Majid told AFP.
Several Asian charity organisations, mainly from India, were behind the initiative, and the boat would also carry a dozen activists from Asian countries, Abdel-Majid added.
More than 100 other activists would fly to Egypt in order to link up with the aid convoy, he said, adding the activists were from countries including Iran, Japan, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The boat would carry one million dollars (760,000 euros) worth of medicine, foodstuffs and toys as well as four buses and 10 power generators for hospitals, the Palestinian official said.
Israel has imposed a crippling blockade on Gaza since Palestinian groups captured one of its soldiers in June 2006.
It reinforced it a year later after the Islamists Hamas seized control of the coastal enclave following deadly fighting with Fatah faction of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.
Israel eased the blockade after its May 31 raid on a flotilla of aid ships seeking that killed nine Turkish activists and drew international condemnation.