A group of pro-Palestinian activists, mainly French and Egyptian, have entered the Gaza Strip through Egypt to deliver humanitarian aid to the Tel Aviv-blockaded coastal sliver.
The “Welcome to Palestine” delegation, comprising 60 French members and 25 Egyptians, along with Belgian and US citizens, entered Gaza through the besieged enclave’s Rafah border crossing with Egypt on Thursday, AFP reported.
“I am very excited, very very happy, because this is the first time we succeeded in entering,” said the mission’s head, Olivia Zemor of the French pro-Palestinian group, EuroPalestine.
The mission, which said had brought medicines, medical supplies, books, and sweets to Gaza for the holiday season, was prevented from entering the territory in 2009 by the former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak.
“Israel of course never wanted us to come here because we are in solidarity with the Palestinians. We are active for Palestine; for Palestinian prisoners, for the boycott of Israeli goods and for the liberation of Palestine, all of Palestine; Gaza the West Bank and Palestinian refugees,” Zemor said.
The Welcome to Palestine mission plans to stay in the enclave until January 1.
Gaza has been blockaded since June 2007, a situation that has caused a decline in the standard of living, unprecedented levels of unemployment, and unrelenting poverty.