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Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Viva Palestina aid convoy to Gaza received Syrian boost

The international convoy carrying humanitarian aid from London to Gaza has swollen
in size during its journey from Syria into Jordan.More than 400 people from around the world are now traveling on the convoy after volunteers from as far afield as Italy and Malaysia joined up in Damascus.

The amount of aid being carried in approximately 150 vehicles has also grown following donations of medical supplies and equipment received in Syria.

The convoy, organised by the charity Viva Palestina and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, received a huge welcome from Syrians and Syrian’s exiled Palestinian population as it passed through the country.

Flag waving people took to the streets to cheer on the convoy, while a number of official receptions were held, including one at the Syrian border as the convoy arrived from Turkey.

Kevin Ovenden, convoy organiser, said ‘the level of support has been tremendous, and I would like to thank Syria for welcoming us so warmly. Unlike in Britain and the
United States, in Turkey and Syria, the issue of Palestine, the people, the civil society and the Government are as one.’

He added ‘However, the international nature of this convoy demonstrates the depth of popular support for the Palestinian people around the world, and more governments need to recognise this reality, including those in Britain and US.’

The convoy, which includes ambulances, trucks, vans and jeeps, has now entered Jordan and hopes to land in Egypt on Christmas day, following a ferry crossing at Aqaba.

It will attempt to break Israel’s illegal three and a half year blockade of Gaza on
27th December by passing through the Rafah crossing to deliver its cargo of medical, humanitarian and educational aid.

The date marks the first anniversary of the beginning of Israel’s 3 week assault on
Gaza which left more than 1,400 Palestinians dead.

Media contact: Alice Howard alice@vivapalestina.org

Note: This is
the third Viva Palestina convoy to attempt to break Israel's siege of Gaza this year. It has been organised by the charity, Viva Palestina, and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the UK's largest organisation campaigning for solidarity with the Palestinian people. The last two convoys were successful in delivering aid.
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