Egypt has opened its border with Gaza to humanitarian aid and relief, allowing medical supplies from Iran to be delivered to the besieged enclave through the Rafah border crossing.
The Iranian medical supplies are part of an Asian aid convoy, dubbed Asia to Gaza Solidarity Caravan, or Asia 1, which is carrying an estimated one million dollars worth of medicine, foodstuffs and toys as well as four buses and 10 power generators for hospitals.
Earlier this week, Egyptian authorities had denied entrance to a number of Iranian activists and refused to allow 10 generators donated by the Islamic Republic to pass through the Rafah border crossing.
The relief supplies have been unloaded from a ship organized by the convoy, which has docked at the Egyptian port of El Arish.
The Asian convoy consists of activists from more than 15 countries, including Iran, India, Japan, Indonesia, Pakistan, Malaysia, New Zealand and Kuwait.
The convoy had travelled 7,000 kilometers, but was stuck in Latikia, in the northwest of Syria, for more than a week awaiting Egypt’s permission.
It started its journey in the Indian capital, New Delhi. It had passed through Iran, Turkey, Lebanon and Syria to reach Egypt and finally the Gaza Strip.
The convoy was scheduled to reach Gaza by December 27, the second anniversary of Israel’s 22-day war on the impoverished enclave that started on December 28, 2008.
Tel Aviv has been enforcing an all-out land, aerial and naval blockade on the 1.5 million Palestinians in the enclave since mid-June 2007.
The illegal Israeli-imposed blockade has created dire humanitarian and economic situation in the enclave as the United Nations expresses concern that over 80 percent of people of Gaza depend on relief supplies for their survival.
On May 31, Israel’s military killed nine Turkish activists aboard the Freedom Flotilla, an Ankara-backed humanitarian convoy, which was carrying humanitarian supplies to the Palestinians.