Egyptian authorities have refused to allow an Algerian humanitarian aid convoy to enter into the Gaza Strip which has been under a crippling three-year Israeli blockade.
The ship, carrying seven tons of medicine and two tons of powder milk, docked in Egypt’s Al-Arish sea port on Friday.
Fifteen people onboard the ship including Algerian lawmakers, businessmen and peace activists were seeking to break the Gaza siege by organizing the convoy.
Algerian daily Al-Khabar said that the convoy was prevented from entering Gaza despite a primary agreement singed between the Algerian Foreign Ministry and Egypt in this regard.
The daily added that the Egyptian officials only allowed three Algerian lawmakers to visit Gaza though the Rafah border crossing for a few hours.
The move came two weeks after the Israeli military attacked the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea, killing at least 20 peace activists including nine Turkish citizens on board the M.V. Mavi Marmara and injuring about 50 other people who were part of the team on the six-ship convoy.
Israel imposed the blockade on Gaza after the Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas, won parliamentary elections in June 2007.
Some 1.5 million people in the coastal strip are being denied their basic rights, including freedom of movement, and their rights to appropriate living conditions, work, health and education. Poverty and unemployment rates stand at approximately 80 percent and 60 percent respectively in the Gaza Strip.
Egypt has joined Israel in imposing a three-year-long blockade on Gaza, sealing its borders with the strip and effectively cutting off all links to the coastal sliver.