Gaza activists, Egyptian police clash

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Some 55 members of a Gaza aid convoy reportedly were injured during clashes with Egyptian police.

The violence came late Tuesday evening after some of the 520 activists from the Viva Palestina aid convoy, led by British lawmaker George Galloway, broke through the gate at the Egyptian port in El-Arish.

The activists were protesting Egypt’s refusal to allow nearly 60 of the 200 vehicles in the aid convoy to enter Gaza through the Rafah border crossing.

Egyptian riot police reportedly threw rocks and used water cannons to disperse the demonstrators. Seven members of the convoy reportedly were arrested.

Palestinians reportedly began rioting at the Rafah border Wednesday, Some 35 have reportedly been injured in clashes with Egyptian forces, including two who are clinically dead, according to Ynet. An Egyptian police officer was also reportedly killed. The convoy entered Gaza Wednesday evening.

The disallowed vehicles are carrying pickup trucks, cars, generators and other equipment, and must enter via an Israeli crossing, according to reports. Only medical and food aid are permitted to enter via Rafah.

"We refused this," Galloway told reporters. "It is completely unconscionable that 25 percent of our convoy should go to Israel and never arrive in Gaza because nothing that ever goes to Israel ever arrives in Gaza."

The activists left Britain a month ago and had planned to enter Gaza last week. Egypt had insisted that the convoy travel from a port on the Red Sea, where it arrived last week, to a port on the Mediterranean in order to enter Gaza. 

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