On Monday evening, Hamas leader, head of the Hamas-led government in Gaza, Ismail Haniyya, stated during a welcome ceremony for the â€śMiles of Smiles 3â€ť solidarity convoy that flotillas and convoys challenging Israelâ€™s siege on Gaza expose the Israeli crimes and the true nature of Israelâ€™s aggression. Haniyya stated that solidarity convoys prove that the Palestinians in Gaza are not alone in countering the illegal Israeli siege, and the ongoing aggression.
â€śGaza is still suffering under siege, still suffering from Israeli aggressionâ€ť, Haniyya said, â€śFlotillas expose Israelâ€™s deception, and its claims of lifting the siege by opening border terminalsâ€ť.
â€śThis is the third time we are honored to welcome the Miles of Smiles in Gazaâ€ť, he added, â€śits name became a cultural component of the Palestinian society, the occupation wants to keep Gaza under siege, but, after God, we depend on you, your solidarity and supportâ€ť.
Miles of Smiles Coordinator, Dr. Isam Yousef, vowed that more solidarity and humanitarian convoys will be sent to Gaza, and added that the occupation will never be able to stop the activists from carrying urgently needed supplies to the besieged coastal region.
â€śWe in Miles of Smiles came here to draw a smile on the faces of the children of Gazaâ€ť, he added.
The convoy carried medications estimated by $500.000, including 10 sorts of medications that ran out of all medical facilities in the Gaza Strip.
Although Israel claimed it facilitated the illegal siege on Gaza, its land, air and naval blockade is keeping different sorts of medical supplies, construction materials and foodstuffs out of stock.
Approximately 178 types of medications and 123 types of medical supplies have run out, and an additional 69 types of medications and 70 types of medical supplies are expected to run out within the next three months, the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza reported last week.
Over 300 patients have died, since Israeli imposed the siege on Gaza in 2007, due to a lack of essential medical equipment. The patients were denied permits to leave the Gaza Strip to seek medical attention elsewhere.
Dr. Atef Al Kahloot, head of the Medical Services in the Gaza Strip, reported last Monday that all surgeries in hospitals across the coastal region have been put on hold until further notice as they ran out of anesthesia medications and supplies.