CAIRO: A convoy carrying 40 tons of food and medical supplies worth 3 million EGP (U.S. $420,000) from Al-Azhar departed for the Gaza Strip Wednesday morning, Youm7 reported.
The convoy is led by Secretary-General of the Supreme Committee for Preaching Mohamed Zaki, his assistant Saaed Amer and Al-Azhar convoy official Mohamed al-Abd, as per the request of Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayeb.
According to Youm7, the convoy coordinated with the Palestinian side including the army, police and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Tayeb said the convoy is part of Al-Azhar’s initiative to send international convoys to countries needing relief, as previous sent convoys to Somalia and Sudan.
One of the convoy organizers, Ahmed Wahdan, told Youm7 Wednesday that the aid will consist of three trucks loaded with food including rice, flour, sugar, rice, pasta, and butter and four trucks carrying medicine.
Other convoys have been sent previously to Gaza by the Egyptian army and civilian initiatives through the Rafah crossing between Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip. The last convoy sent by the army was last week. Military spokesperson Brig. Gen. Mohamed Samir announced on his official Facebook page that President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi ordered sending aid and supplies to Palestinians as part of continuing Egyptian efforts to support Gaza.
The last convoy consisted of 15 trucks containing 50,000 boxes of supplies.
Earlier, another aid convoy worth 2.3 million EGP departed from Cairo after a civilian call by lawyer Tarek al-Awady in cooperation Al-Aish w Al-Horeya Party and its founding member Khaled Ali, a former presidential candidate.
One convoy was prevented from reaching Gaza, as the Egyptian military stopped it at Balouza checkpoint, 150km southwest of the Rafah border crossing. Prominent Dostour Party leader Gameela Ismail, one of the convoy participants, said the armed forces at the checkpoint said that they were not informed about the convoy, al-Watan reported in July.
At least 1,865 Palestinians have been killed and 9,470 injured during the nearly month-long Israeli offensive according to the latest figures issued from the Palestinian Ministry of Health. An Israeli Army spokesperson announced Friday that the death toll for Israeli soldiers had reached 61 since the beginning of “Operation Protective Edge.”