Internat'l Lifeline 5 aid convoy to Gaza delayed by side factors
|Tuesday, October 19,2010 13:40|
Delays on the Lifeline 5 aid convoy’s departure were caused by an extortion attempt by the ship’s cargo operators, the Palestinian Information Center learned.
Scheduled to leave Monday morning, the convoy was put on hold after the ship’s crew demanded a significantly higher wage than previously agreed upon.
Informed sources told the PIC that the ship’s operators demanded $140,000 USD, against the previously agreed upon amount of $70,000 USD.
Foreign and Arab activists have been geared for travel since yesterday morning. They were scheduled to leave for the Syrian port of Latakia at 8:00am GMT before heading out to the Egyptian Al-Arish port.
Committee coordinator for the convoy’s Jordanian sector Ala Burqan expressed deep regret over Egypt’s decision to bar key activists on board the convoy from entry into the Gaza Strip.
“Wail Al Saqa, the Jordanian Lifeline chairman, left today to meet up with another delegation heading for Al-Arish despite Egypt’s decision to bar him in hopes that negotiations with some Egyptian parties will allow him to enter,” Burqan added.
Burqan called on Egyptian authorities to facilitate transit for the Lifeline convoy and give clearance to all who have been prohibited to participate in the “rescue of their Gazan brothers”.
Egyptian authorities announced they have denied 17 people on board the convoy entry. Most of them were Jordanian, but they also included five Brits and twoTurkish activists.