British MP Galloway Heads to Gaza for Further Visit

Galloway leads aid convoy through Egypt to Gaza for second time since IDF offensive against Hamas.

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A convoy led by British MP George Galloway was due to arrive at the Rafah border crossing to the Gaza Strip Tuesday afternoon, a pro-Hamas committee in the coastal territory said.

Hamdi Shaath, a spokesman for the Palestinian governmental committee against the Israeli blockade of Gaza, said that the "Artery of Life" convoy passed through the Egyptian city of Ismailiya Monday on its way to the Rafah border crossing.

"In addition to Galloway, the humanitarian convoy will include 225 activists, including a former U.S. Congresswoman, four Jewish anti-Zionist Rabbis and a retired general in the U.S. Army who served in Iraq," said Shaath.

He expressed hope that "Egypt would facilitate the movement and the crossing of the solidarity convoy into the Gaza Strip," adding that "the convoy carries humanitarian aids to the besieged Gazans."

Galloway led the first "Artery of Life" convoy into Gaza immediately after the Israel Defense Forces ended its 22-day offensive there on January 18.

He brought with him dozens of cars, caravans, trucks and ambulances loaded with humanitarian and medical aid. Galloway held talks with Hamas leaders and donated 25,000 pounds ($40,000) to the Hamas government.

Israel has imposed a tight blockade on Gaza for more than two years, responding to rocket attacks on its southern towns and villages. It says that lifting the blockade is conditional on both the release of captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, who has been held captive in the strip since June 2006, and a long-term truce with Hamas and other Gaza militant groups.