Ashraf Shannon, Press TV, Gaza
The Asia to Gaza Solidarity Caravan, (Asia 1), the first aid convoy from the southern hemisphere arrived in the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing. But Egyptian authorities prevented Iranian activists with the convoy from entering Egypt.
Some 105 human rights activists gathered at the crossing. Most of them flew to Egypt from Syria. Eight activists arrived at the Egyptian port of El Arish onboard a ship carrying tons of humanitarian aid.
The aid convoy started its journey in the Indian capital, New Delhi. It passed through Iran, Turkey, Lebanon and Syria to reach Egypt and finally the Gaza Strip.
Journalists accompanying the convoy spoke of the arduous journey to Gaza.
Activists from around 15 countries, including India, Iran, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Turkey are part of the convoy, which is supervised by international relief foundations. But Iranian activists, including seven lawmakers, were not granted entry visas by Egyptian authorities to visit the besieged territory.
The organizers say convoy members come from different places and religious backgrounds, proving that there is a global consensus on the need to lift the blockade on Gaza.
Most of the activities were disappointed to see that their fellow Iranian counterparts could not make it into the Gaza Strip.
One activist brought her eight-month old daughter with her, who is the youngest member of the convoy. She had this to say.
On its way to Egypt’s al-Arish port the Asia aid ship was harassed by Israeli navy nearly seven months after Israeli forces attacked the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and killed 9 activists on board.
Almost a month after they began their journey from Asia to break the Israeli siege, the aid Convoy members are finally making it through into the Gaza Strip.