A group of 71 international human rights activists participating in the ‘Miles of Smiles 11’ aid convoy has arrived in the besieged Gaza Strip.
The humanitarian convoy entered the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border crossing on Thursday evening, the International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC) reported on Friday.
The convoy members are from several Arab and international countries, including Britain, South Arica, Jordan and Egypt. Several physicians and surgeons are accompanying the convoy to perform medical services in the blockaded territory.
The convoy's main mission is focusing on cultural exchange between the youth of the coastal strip and those of some European countries.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) and some relief organizations in Europe have organized the convoy.
On March 10, ‘Miles of Smiles 10’ delivered about 4 tons of urgent medicines to Gaza hospitals.
The first 'Miles of Smiles' convoy made it into the Gaza Strip in mid-November 2009, after being stranded at the Egyptian side of the Rafah border for 25 days. All Miles of Smiles convoys made it into Gaza despite numerous obstacles and delays.
Gazans live in what is known as the “world's largest open-air prison” as Israel remains in full control of the airspace, territorial waters and border crossings of Gaza.
Israel denies about 1.5 million people in Gaza their basic rights, including the freedom of movement and their rights to appropriate living conditions, work, health and education.
Israeli war planes and ground forces have frequently attacked Gaza since the end of the December 2008-January 2009 war on the people of the Gaza Strip. Most of the victims of the attacks are civilians, including women and children.