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International aid convoy goes on hunger strike

PUBLISHED: 12:00 29 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:25 05 October 2010

CAMPAIGNERS travelling with an international aid convoy to the Middle East have gone on hunger strike after being denied entry through Egypt. The Viva Palestinian convoy carrying medical and humanitarian aid to Gaza left London at the beginning of Decemb

CAMPAIGNERS travelling with an international aid convoy to the Middle East have gone on hunger strike after being denied entry through Egypt.

The Viva Palestinian convoy carrying medical and humanitarian aid to Gaza left London at the beginning of December and has travelled nearly 3,000 miles across Europe and the Middle East.

But members of the convoy began a hunger strike just before noon yesterday in protest at the Egyptian government refusing the convoy entry onto its soil on its way to the Gaza strip. The convoy and its cargo are now stuck in the Jordanian port town of Aqaba. Its members say they will consume only liquids until the convoy is allowed entry into Egypt.

Bethnal Green and Bow MP George Galloway, who is travelling with the convoy, said: "Israel has kept Gaza under siege for three-and-half years against international law. It has not allowed aid or rebuilding materials in following its attack on Gaza earlier this year. Our convoy is determined to break the siege and take in urgently needed supplies. Spirits are high in our camp in Aqaba and we are going nowhere except to Gaza."

Diplomatic negotiations are also taking place between the Turkish and Egyptian governments over the convoy's entry to Egypt.

The convoy was organised by the charity Viva Palestina and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

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