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Interview with George Galloway Inside GazaTim King Salem-News.com
One month, thousands of miles, ten countries, one ship and a four flights later, Viva Palestina has entered the besieged Gaza Strip.
(GAZA/SALEM) - The people behind a 200+ car convoy who arrived in Gaza yesterday entered this embattled city with only about 75% of what they had hoped to deliver.
55 of these humanitarian aid activists were bloodied during attacks by Egyptian police.
The group's most noted figure, George Galloway, Member of Parliament, says it was still worth it, especially based on the reactions of the Palestinian people who saw the bloodstains on the clothing of these humanitarians, that nobody had time to launder.
It should be clear to Israel and Egypt after this that no amount of political or police or military pressure is going to stop the humanitarian aid missions to Gaza.
Several more are currently in the works and all of it combined will not be enough to help everyone.
In spite of that, Palestinians, particularly the residents of Gaza, say they appreciate the generosity more than they can adequately express.
Galloway has received scant coverage from Western media. Their struggle has been mostly ignored by groups like the NY Times, though they came to life when an Egyptian soldier was killed. I don't think they even referenced the five Palestinians who were killed, at least in their online version yesterday.
Press TV ran this interview with George Galloway following his entry in Gaza with the Viva Palestina Aid Convoy. It originally aired on 7th January 2010.
The 3rd International convoy departed on December 6th 2009 and arrived in Gaza January 6th 2010.
The main word today in Gaza among this group was "Mission Accomplished!" and in spite of their hardships and extended bloody struggle, they prevailed.
Galloway says the Egyptians look very bad in the world over their treatment of these civilians.
It is interesting that the world seems unable to prevent terrorists from boarding airplanes, but so quickly able to band together and halt a humanitarian aid convoy.
People who believe the Gaza blockade is just, many in this convoy say, need to reexamine the facts. The people here have been under a siege that intensified in 2007, ultimately leading to the Israeli attack a year ago that left over 1,400 people dead, mostly civilians, among them several hundred children.
Israel is known for its ultra high tech weaponry that includes targeting capability that is supposed to be the best in the world. In spite of this obvious ability to distinguish targets, the Israeli Defense Forces managed to strike over half of Gaza's already under-equipped hospitals.
Schools were another specific target of the Israelis.
How the world is allowing this type of approach from Israel to continue is beyond most people's imaginations. It is clearly obvious that Israel is fighting a losing battle against world public opinion, and that can have huge ramifications.
Kevin Ovenden, Viva Palestina convoy leader, said the level of support internationally for the mission has been tremendous.
"We`ve been understandably in a bit of a bubble - especially when we were barricaded in at the port of Al Arish. But we´ve got some sense of the scale of solidarity events and of media coverage."
But it was the sight of people lining the streets - virtually the full length of the Gaza Strip, that Ovenden will not soon forget.
"It´s advanced the front in a number of ways - including, vitally, building a political case against the role of the Egyptian government in the area, and reinforcing the nexus between aid, solidarity and campaigning."
He calls this group of 518 people incredibly diverse.
"Thanks to everyone who responded to the calls to action from the VP office. There are thousands of emails to respond to and we will do as soon as we can. We are now working on further plans for coordinated initiatives over the next 12 months, which will be announced shortly."
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