‘Global Conscience Convoy’ for Gaza 'hampered' by Egyptian authorities
The launch of the Global Conscience Convoy, scheduled to leave Cairo on Friday for Gaza, has been indefinitely postponed after the initiative was reportedly hampered by Egyptian authorities.
It coincides with a four-day ceasefire after Israel and Hamas agreed to exchange detainees and hostages, offering hope that aid would be able to reach Gazans.
Yet the convoy has to pass through the restive Sinai region and is reliant on Egyptian security to pass through safely.
"The convoy was planned to depart Cairo tomorrow towards North Sinai province and cross into Gaza via the Rafah border crossing, to offer humanitarian aid and relief efforts to our fellow Palestinians," a volunteer told The New Arab on condition of anonymity.
"But the initiative has been hampered by the Egyptian authorities, refusing to offer security clearance."
The convoy is a global call initiated earlier this month by the Egyptian Syndicate of Journalists to end the war on Gaza, open Egypt’s Rafah border crossing in restive North Sinai region indefinitely, and allow journalists to enter the blockade enclave.
"Negotiations between the syndicate and the authorities have been underway but the status of the convoy remains unclear," the source said.
More details will be publicly declared later next week, the source added, without elaborating further.
A total of 15 Egyptian parties, NGOs, and rights groups have this week jointly called on the Egyptian government to allow the convoy to cross into Gaza.
The groups called on Egypt "to facilitate the procedures for the convoy to take off towards Rafah to break the siege imposed on Gaza".
The Rafah border crossing is the only connection for Gaza to the outside world.
More than one million Palestinians have been displaced in Gaza since Israel began its air and ground assault on 7 October, while over 14,000 people have been killed in the onslaught.
Since 2007, Egypt and Israel have imposed a strict blockade on Gaza after Hamas assumed power following clashes with the rival Fatah faction that controls the occupied West Bank.
It was not until almost a decade later when Hamas dropped its affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood, a group outlawed in Egypt, that Cairo softened its approach toward the Palestinian faction.