[ 20/09/2010 – 09:13 AM ]
)– Organizers of the Lifeline 5 aid convoy to the Gaza Strip said that the convoy would reach the Strip on 10th October after moving from Britain on Saturday 18th September.
Zaher Al-Beirawi, the convoy’s spokesman, said in a press release that the convoy led by former British parliament member George Galloway would take 20 days to reach Syria after passing through Europe then Turkey.
He described Syria as the starting point for the convoy’s trip to its final destination, adding that all parties and figures participating in the convoy would gather in Syria.
Beirawi denied presence of any prior coordination with Cairo over the convoy’s route, adding that the convoy is of a humanitarian nature and the Egyptian government had opened the Rafah border terminal with Gaza for humanitarian assistance following the Freedom Flotilla incident. “Hence we expect and hope that there will be no objection to the entry of the convoy into the Strip,” he explained.
The spokesman, however, said that the organizers would contact the Egyptian authorities as soon as the convoy arrives in Syria as the number of participants and the weight of the aid would have been finalized.
Galloway, for his part, said that he did not receive any official or written decision banning him from entering Egyptian territory as news reports said that Cairo considered him a “persona non grata”.
The former MP said that he was ready to bid the convoy farewell at the Syrian port of Latakia and return to London, adding that he won’t try and enter Egypt against its will in the event it objected to his entry into Gaza through Egyptian soil.
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