Aid flotilla to Gaza
Photo: Avi Rokach
Gaza-bound ships dock in Egypt
Delay, Egyptian regulations prevent many activists from participating in fifth 'Viva Palestina' sail

An aid flotilla carrying pro-Palestinian activists from around the world has docked at El-Arish port in Egypt, Al-Jazeera reported Thursday.


According to the report, some of the activists were also on board the Mavi Marmara, the Turkish ship raided by IDF troops in May.


The vessels that left from the Lattakia port in Syria were carrying 30 people, among them the deputy chairman of the Algerian parliament. Another 310 activists from 30 differnt countries arrived at El-Arish airport.


The current Viva Palestina flotilla is the fifth of its kind, and was dubbed 'A Lifeline to Gaza'. The main ship that left from Syria was joined by others from Morocco, Algeria, Jordan, and the Persian Gulf.


Organizers of the flotilla said at first that they had planned for thousands of activists, but delays and Egypt's refusal to grant entry permits to some hopefuls, including British politician George Galloway, limited the count. Galloway had previously clashed with Egyptian forces during other flotillas he led and is currently persona non-grata in the country. 


Organizers say the humanitarian aid on board includes 100 vehicles carrying 500 tons of food and medical
supplies. "We are determined to reach Gaza as soon as possible with the aim of handing out the supplies to civilians and showing we have not abandoned them," said Kevin Ovenden, one of the mission's leaders.


As part of the preparations leading up to the flotilla, activists prepared a replica of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clutching a butcher's knife, as well as a doll representing an Israeli soldier spewing Palestinian children from its mouth.



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