Asian aid convoy set to leave for Gaza
Thu Dec 2, 2010 10:2AM
Asia's first humanitarian aid convoy has begun its ground journey to the Gaza Strip, trying to break Israel's four-year-long blockade on the coastal enclave.
A group of pro-Palestine activists is set to leave India on Thursday to deliver medical supplies to the besieged region.
The India Lifeline To Gaza, a constituent of the Asian People's Solidarity for Palestine (APSP), will move from Rajghat in Delhi.
The convoy will then travel through Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt, entering Gaza through the Rafah Crossing.
"More than 50 Indians are part of the journey. We will travel by road through Asia and hopefully get to Gaza by December 28," founder of APSP Feroze Mithiborwala was quoted as saying by the Indian Express.
The convoy will carry medical aid and donate two ambulances to the authorities in Palestine.
Veteran journalist Kuldip Nayyar and former cabinet secretary Zafar Saifullah are among the Indian activists.
Some 40 percent of the 1.5 million impoverished people of Gaza are jobless as Israel imposed the siege on the sliver since June 2007.
Earlier this week, the United Nations expressed concern that more than 80 percent of people of Gaza depend on relief supplies for their survival.
The embargo persists while Gaza is far from recovering from the December 2008-January 2009 Israeli war that killed over 1,400 Palestinians, inflicting a damage of above $1.6 billion on the enclave's economy.