Egyptian police forces assault activists and participants of the Viva Palestina convoy.
Egyptian police forces assault activists and participants of the Viva Palestina convoy.
Wednesday, January 6,2010 23:13

At least 20 people were injured late Tuesday January 5, in clashes between Egyptian police and pro-Palestinian activists trying to get a relief convoy into the Gaza Strip. Some 500 activists belonging to the convoy led by charismatic and outspoken British MP George Galloway broke down the gate at the port in El-Arish to protest an Egyptian decision to ship some of the goods through Israel.

They blocked the two entrances to the port with vehicles, and activists clashed with police, The protests were sparked by an Egyptian decision to allow 139 vehicles to enter Gaza through the Rafah bordering crossing, about 45 kilometres (30 miles) from El-Arish later they were informed that some of the vehicles would be banned from leaving the port because they could not be categorized as aid.  Some participants tried to leave the port and climbed its walls, Other participants threw rocks at Egyptian forces and tried to reach the monitoring and telecommunication towers Some witnesses reveal that the forces used water hoses to disperse the participants and arrested seven people who tried to sneak out of the port.

The convoy, led by British MP George Galloway, had reached El-Arish Airport and from there headed to Al-Arish Port, with plans to move on to Rafah Port in order to deliver aid to Gaza Strip.

The convoy, consisted of hundreds of volunteers from many countries, along with members from Egypt's national democratic party namely Eng Mohamed Heiba, and Tarek Hassan the editor in chief for the government owned Al-Ahram newspaper. The convoy "Lifeline 3" was carrying food, medicine and medical supplies to the Palestinians. But more significantly it was carrying a message of hope.