RAFAH: Aid convoys from Algeria and Jordan crossed yesterday from Egypt into Israeli-blockaded Gaza with $2.5m worth of supplies, the Palestinian territory’s Hamas government said.
Alaa Al Batta, a government official, told a news conference at the Rafah border crossing that a 14-member Algerian delegation brought medicines and medical equipment worth $2m for the opening of an Algerian-sponsored hospital in the southern Gaza town of Khan Yunis.
“We brought 253 kinds of medicine and 144 medical devices,” said Sheikh Yahya Sarri, leader of the Algerian team.
Kifah Al Amaryah, heading a Jordanian “Miles of Smiles” convoy, said his 20-strong team, delivering aid worth $0.5, would follow up on more than 100 aid projects and launch a new vocational training scheme, also in Khan Yunis.
The Rafah crossing, Gaza’s only border not controlled by Israel, has been mainly closed by Egyptian authorities since July, when Hamas’s ally, president Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood, was toppled in Cairo. Egypt only opens the crossing for humanitarian and other special cases. Israel strictly controls movement of goods and individuals across its land border with Gaza.
AMMAN: More than 13,000 soldiers from 24 countries are to take part in the annual “Eager Lion” military exercise in Jordan, state news agency Petra said yesterday.
It said “ground, air and naval forces comprising a total of more than 13,000 soldiers” are to be deployed during the May 25-June 10 wargames, with “around 24 countries” taking part. The manoeuvres are “aimed at tackling terrorism and insurrection” and to prepare armies to “develop their capacity to plan and carry out joint operations,” the agency added.
Some 8,000 troops from 19 countries including the United States, Britain, Egypt, France, Iraq, Turkey and Saudi Arabia took part in last year’s “Eager Lion” exercises in the kingdom.
Jordan borders Syria, where a three-year-old civil war has killed 150,000 people and displaced millions, with nearly 500,000 taking refuge in the kingdom.AFP