A convoy of food assistance, provided by a group of Israeli peace activists, entered Gaza on Tuesday, through the Israeli-controlled commercial crossing of Sufa in southern Gaza.The convoy, which is made up of food assistance and water filters for hospitals, has been sent by Israeli peace activists and human rights groups in Israel, as Gaza faces a crippling Israeli closure since June of last year.
Israeli activists who escorted the convoy to the borders of Gaza, such as Uri Avneri, former Israeli lawmaker, said that the purpose of such a convoy ‘ is breaking the Israeli siege of Gaza’, branding such a siege as ‘ immoral and inconsistent with the humanitarian international law.
In Gaza, Dr. Iyad aL-Saraj, chairman of Gaza’s mental health program and in charge of the international-Palestinian campaign for breaking the siege, was quoted by media outlets as saying ‘ we in Gaza are appreciating such a solidarity, which we consider as the beginning of joint work to achieve peace and freedom for both sides’.
Alsaraj’s efforts have so far helped ensure arrival of the convoy, as he has been in constant contacts with concerned bodies, mainly the director of United Nations’ operations in Gaza , ,Mr. Jhon Ging, and other Israel peace groups.
This is the first time that Israeli peace activists send out assistance to the besieged Gaza Strip, since Israel has placed the costal region under a strict closure of crossings, preventing entry of many essential supplies.
According to United Nations’ records, more than 80 percent of Gaza’s 1.5 million residents depend entirely on the UN’s food assistance and services, due to growing figures of poverty and unemployment since last June.
Israel has recently declared more restriction of entry of supplies will go into effect, until halt of what Israel says ‘ homemade shells fire’ from the Hamas-run territory onto nearby Israeli towns.