Almost three years after the Israeli Operation Cast Lead killed over 1,400 Palestinians, the situation for most Gazans remains dire, with unemployment, shortages of medical supplies and much else essential to secure minimum living standards.
The sixth aid convoy organised by Viva Palestina is aiming to enter Gaza in time to commemorate the onslaught on the people of Gaza represented by Operation Cast Lead.
It is our intention with this convoy to try to increase the aid element and we also want to reduce the total time those on the convoy will need to take off work whilst increasing the time they can spend in Gaza. We are also taking into account the fluid situation that has developed since the start of Arab Spring and the fall of Mubarak.
We are announcing therefore a significant change in the form that the convoy will take this time. Rather than travelling from London through Europe as before, we intend to purchase all aid and vehicles in Egypt itself, with the convoyers travelling to Egypt either by boat from another Middle Eastern country or flying directly into Cairo itself.
We are currently in discussions with the Egyptian authorities and our friends in both Egypt and Gaza on the exact timing of our arrival in Egypt and Gaza but we are confident this will be over the Xmas period. We will confirm arrangements in the next couple of weeks.