Yousef: Government ready to receive anti-siege ships’ convoy
Yousef’s remarks were voiced in a joint press conference with Mohammed Kaya, the representative of the Turkish IHH relief foundation, at Gaza harbor where he also explained the grave impact left by the oppressive siege on the populated Strip.
According to Yousef, the blockade left the 1.7 million Palestinians living there in an intolerable misery in addition to paralyzing almost all aspects of life, thus, he added, putting the lives of the people at risk.
Close to 400 sick Palestinian citizens in the Gaza Strip have died so far due to the siege because they were denied access to proper medical treatment while the lives of thousands others are threatened.
Both officials stressed that the convoy carries only humanitarian assistance and have nothing banned by the international law, urging the Israeli occupation authority not to block the convoy in which around 700 international supporters of the Palestinian people representing 17 countries are expected to participate.
Furthermore, Yousef pointed out that the committee sent letters to Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the secretary-general of the OIC, Amre Mousa, the secretary-general of the Arab League, and president Muammar Gaddafi of Libya to visit the Gaza Strip and see for themselves the disastrous repercussions of the four-year-long Israeli siege on the Strip.
He also called on Egypt to open once and for ever the vital Rafah crossing point to help the Palestinians move freely and to get their humanitarian needs easily.
Determined to reach Gaza:
For his part, Kaya announced that the participants were determined to reach Gaza with the assistance they carry at all cost, urging all concerned parties to facilitate the mission of this humanitarian convoy.
He said that the ships are loaded with medicines, construction materials badly needed to help repair, even partially, the thousands of Palestinian homes destroyed by the Israeli war on Gaza 18 months ago, stressing that the convoy is determined to achieve its mission.
“We will not retreat… we will stay in the sea no matter how long it takes if the Israelis blocked us… we are determined to reach the Gaza Strip”, underlined Kaya, adding the ships are coming from Turkey.
He also sent a message to the Israeli occupation that the ships carry no military equipments or any thing related to security matters, and that all what they carry are only for civilian use.