LONDON, Feb 14 (KUNA) -- A huge convoy of more than 100 vehicles today snaked its way out of London on route to Gaza, where more than one million-pound-worth of aid, including ambulances and a fire engine, will be delivered.
The size of the convoy and the amount of aid it is carrying have exceeded the expectations of the organisers, grouped under the umbrella Viva Palestine and supported by many Muslim organisations as well as the Stop the War Coalition.
The convoy will travel 5,000 miles through France, Spain, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, crossing into Gaza at Rafah in early March.
Hundreds of volunteers are driving the aid convoy, which includes 12 ambulances, a boat and trucks full of medicines, tools, clothes, blankets and shoe-boxes as well as gifts for children.
Respect MP George Galloway, who will help drive the convoy, said: "There is an intifada sweeping Britain. It is a massive and peaceful movement in support of the beleaguered population of Gaza and Palestine.
"It is happening everywhere, but is especially strong in the north of England and especially among young Muslims.
"This convoy is material manifestation of it. In barely a month, it has metamorphosed from an aspiration I threw out at the 100,000 strong pro-Palestine demonstration on 10 January to more than 100 vehicles and nearly 300 people from across Britain.
"We will lead the biggest convoy of British vehicles across North Africa since Montgomery." The majority of the vehicles had left London by lunchtime today and are heading to Ramsgate, Kent, where they will board a ferry to Ostend, Belgium.
A spokeswoman for the convoy explained: "We are finally on our way, everyone is still in very good spirits and there is an air of excitement around the convoy despite everyone feeling extremely tired as it has taken a huge amount of organising to get this all together." After arriving in Ostend the convoy will travel down to Bordeaux in south west France for their first major stop.
Galloway is expected to join up with the convoy frequently throughout the trip (end). KUNA 141856 Feb 09NNNN