(photo credit: Creative Commons)
An aid convoy to the Gaza Strip was expected to dock in Egypt's el-Arish port on Saturday, Israel Radio reported.
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Egyptian officials have given clearance to the Asia 1 to dock at el-Arish and enter Gaza from Rafah, Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported on Friday.
The Asia 1, the first convoy to attempt to reach Gaza from Asia, began its journey from India and traveled through Pakistan, Iran, Turkey and Syria before arriving in Lebanon last week.
Officials issued permits allowing for the entry of 120 of the activists
aboard the ship, while denying entry to 46 others from Iran and Jordan,
Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram reported.
According to the report, food, medical aid and toys were allowed to
remain aboard the convoy, while 10 generators donated by Iran were among
cargo that was banned by the Egyptians.
The convoy includes activists from more than 15 countries, according to
Ma'an, including, Iran, India, Japan, Indonesia, Pakistan, Malaysia, New
Zealand and Kuwait.
Although activists aboard the ship were quoted by Iran's Press TV as saying they were "completely non-violent," the Israeli government was reportedly monitoring
the convoy's progress very carefully.
The mission was welcomed by Syria-based Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal while it was in Damascus last week, Press TV reported.