Aid supplies from the Libyan ship “El-Amal” began arriving in the Gaza Strip on Sunday after the Israeli navy forced the Gaza-bound vessel to dock at the Egyptian port of El-Arish. The aid was transported into Gaza via the Rafah and Karam Abu Salem border crossings.
According to an Egyptian official, 36 trucks laden with aid supplies have so far been sent to the Egypt-Gaza border.
The official added that port authorities had relied on help from several loading companies to unload the boat’s cargo and transport it to Gaza. He expected that all the cargo would be fully unloaded and put on trucks by Monday morning.
Omar Ali, a Red Crescent worker in the North Sinai Governorate, said that a large number of volunteers from the organization had been working around the clock to get the aid into Gaza.
The ship’s passengers accompanied the aid convoy in an expression of solidarity with the people of Gaza and are expected to be present when the aid is delivered to the Palestinian Red Crescent in Gaza. El-Amal passengers praised Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak for allowing the supplies to pass through the Rafah border crossing.
Khalil el-Bakush, chairman of the Ghaddafi International Charity and Development Association, which organized the aid mission, said he was currently coordinating with Egyptian authorities to have the aid transported across the border. He added that he deeply appreciated Egypt’s help in transporting the aid to Gaza.
El-Bakush went on to note that the ship’s goal had been to break the longstanding Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip by delivering aid directly to the beleaguered territory. However, he said that acts of “Israeli piracy” had prevented them from making port at Gaza, at which point his organization had decided to use Egypt as a conduit to transport the aid to its final destination.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.