Gaza aid Brits 'beaten by police'
6 January, 2010 — Press Association
(UKPA) – 49 minutes ago
British members of a humanitarian convoy trying to take aid to Gaza were among dozens of people injured during clashes with Egyptian police.
Around 520 people were travelling with the 150 trucks full of supplies when clashes broke out Tuesday night at the port city of El Arish, near Gaza.
One of the members, Alexandra Lort-Phillips, 37, who works for Enfield Youth Offending Service in north London, said: “I have 42 people in my team, and out of those three Britons have been injured. There are head injuries, cuts.
“We started getting pelted with stones by people in plain clothes, then the police started moving in, using tear gas and batons. People were quite severely beaten.”
She said seven or eight of the convoy members had to be treated in hospital, and blamed “heavy-handed” policing of their group.
Protests reportedly broke out when Egyptian authorities at El Arish ordered some lorries to use an Israeli-controlled checkpoint.
The activists would prefer the goods to be transported via Egypt’s Rafah crossing.
British MP George Galloway, leading the convoy, said Israel is likely to prevent it entering Gaza.
He told Sky News: “It is completely unconscionable that 25% of our convoy should go to Israel and never arrive in Gaza.”
Earlier this week convoy members staged noisy protests after Egyptian officials took away their passports and there was a lengthy delay in giving them back.
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