The first Asian convoy that plans to break Israel’s siege of Gaza has reached Syria, reaffirming its objective of displaying solidarity with the oppressed Palestinians.
The Asian People’s Solidarity with Palestine convoy, also known as Asia 1, which is currently joined by activists of 15 different nationalities, began its journey from India and traveled through Pakistan, Iran and Turkey before arriving in the Syrian capital of Damascus on Monday.
A seven-member delegation of Iranian lawmakers has also arrived in Damascus to accompany the mission.
The convoy, which intends to enter the Gaza Strip on December 28, says it wants to displays solidarity with the Palestinian people in their resistance against Israel.
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.
"I think there is no difference between the people in Gaza and other human beings. It’s not humane to remain silent on the blatant oppression imposed on the people in Gaza and that’s why I joined this convoy," said Iranian aid activist, Somayeh Tabari.
Rakhi Sehgel, an Indian aid activist said, "The people of Asia stand in solidarity with the people of Palestine and especially the people of Gaza, who are under an illegal siege imposed upon them not just by Israel but by other imperialist powers as well."
Holding a gathering with the activists, the leader of the Palestinian group Islamic Jihad, Ramadan Abdullah acknowledged the mission’s endeavor and said it is the right of the Palestinians to fight for their land.
"We really appreciate your effort to keep this momentum and to follow up your work," he said.
Tel Aviv occupied Gaza during large-scale military offensives in 1967 that also resulted in the capture of more Palestinian territories and expanses of other Arab lands.
It reportedly withdrew its troops from the strip in 2005, but has been keeping the land under recurrent military offensives. An Israeli-ordered war on Gaza at the turn of 2009, killed more than 1,400 Palestinians and inflicted a damage of above $1.6 billion on the sliver’s economy.