Middle East

Arab aid convoys reach Gaza Strip

Yahya Sary (L), the head of a delegation from Algeria, is greeted as he and members of the convoy cross the Rafah border from Egypt into the southern Gaza Strip, May 18, 2014. AFP PHOTO/ SAID KHATIB

RAFAH, Palestinian Territories: Aid convoys from Algeria and Jordan crossed Sunday from Egypt into Israeli-blockaded Gaza with $2.5 million (1.8 million euros) worth of supplies, the Palestinian territory's Hamas government said.

Alaa el-Batta, a government official, told a news conference at the Rafah border crossing that a 14-member Algerian delegation brought medicines and medical equipment worth $2 million for the opening of an Algerian-sponsored hospital in the southern Gaza town of Khan Yunis.

"We brought 253 kinds of medicine and 144 medical devices," said Sheikh Yahya Sarri, leader of the Algerian team.

Kifah al-Amaryah, heading a Jordanian "Miles of Smiles" convoy, said his 20-strong team, delivering aid worth $0.5, would follow up on more than 100 aid projects and launch a new vocational training scheme, also in Khan Yunis.

The Rafah crossing, Gaza's only border not controlled by Israel, has been mainly closed by Egyptian authorities since July, when Hamas's ally, president Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, was toppled in Cairo.

Egypt only opens the crossing for humanitarian and other special cases.

Israel strictly controls movement of goods and individuals across its land border with Gaza and maintains a tight air and maritime blockade of the coastal strip.





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