Egypt allows British member of parliament's aid caravan into Gaza
Egyptian authorities on Monday afternoon allowed an aid caravan led by British Member of Parliament George Galloway to cross into the Gaza Strip, a government spokesman said.
Adil Zarub, a spokesman for Egypt's border-crossings authority, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa on Monday that authorities had struck a compromise with caravan organizers and Libyan donors to allow the aid into the Gaza Strip.
According to the compromise, he said, some trucks, including those carrying medical supplies, would be allowed through Egypt's border with Gaza at Rafah, but others, including some Libyan donations, would need to pass through Israel, dpa reported.
The "Viva Palestina" caravan left London three weeks ago laden with donations of humanitarian supplies for the people of the Gaza Strip. Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi's charitable foundation supplemented the caravan with supplies as it passed through Libya, but the caravan ran into trouble in Egypt.
Pro-Palestinian activists on Sunday canceled meetings with Galloway, who had been sharply critical of the Egyptian government's policy on Gaza, after he met with senior members of Egypt's ruling National Democratic Party.
The caravan was then delayed by a dispute over whether the caravan would be allowed to cross through Egypt's border with the Gaza Strip at Rafah, or whether it would would need to enter the Gaza Strip through the Israeli-controlled crossing at Karni, or al-Mintar, as it is called in Arabic.
As the caravan waited to cross into the Gaza Strip on Sunday night, unknown men vandalized it with anti-Hamas slogans and pelted the organizers with rocks. Various reports blamed local youths, Egyptian security forces and men loyal to Gaza's ousted Fatah strongman Mohammed Dahlan for Sunday's trouble.