A Derry Palestinian support group has donated a minibus to a school in the Gaza Strip.
The ‘Derry to Gaza’ group raised money throughout the north west to purchase the vehicle, which will now form part of a land convoy travelling to Gaza to bring aid to the locals.
Members and supporters of the group gathered at Free Derry Corner on Friday afternoon to see the vehicle off as it began the journey to Gaza.
Betty Doherty from the group said it was the third time people from the city have taken part in a land convoy to Gaza.
“This will be the third vehicle we have delivered; first was the ambulance in 2009/10 just after operation ‘cast lead,’ and then two years ago we also delivered a minibus to a deaf school in the Gaza Strip,” she said.
Ms Doherty said the group also donated tools to the Gazan people.
“Along with the minibus we will also be concentrating on construction tools as there is a severe shortage of tools available in Gaza even to carry out maintenance work, this is due to the blockade which still remains in place as part of Israel’s collective punishment policy against the people of Gaza,” she explained.
She also said the Gaza to Derry group will continue to support the Palestinian people with future projects.
“This convoy is aimed at sending solidarity and easing the suffering of the illegally imposed blockade in whatever small way it can. We realize that sending aid has not and will not bring an end to the siege on Gaza. However we are in contact with the Truth justice Peace group, and will be working with them in summer on a project that aims to set up trade between Gaza and the rest of the world,” she said.
She thanked everyone from across the north west who supported the fund raising appeal. “We would like to take this opportunity to thank the children of Gaelscoil Bhun Crannacha, the people of Derry for their support and everyone involved in organizing and fund raising for this project,” she said.