South African Humanitarian Aid en route to Gaza

Pretoria – A Boeing 747 carrying humanitarian aid contributed by the South African public and co-ordinated by the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Gift of the Givers Organisation, the South African Council of Churches, the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference and Cosatu earlier today Friday 23 January 2009 arrived in Egypt en-route to Gaza.

The flight, carrying 84 tons of supplies including: medical equipment, medicines, other medical supplies, high energy and protein supplements, plaster of paris, bottled water, cooking oil, milk powder, glucose biscuits, generators, blankets and disposable nappies also transported a team of 25 South African doctors and journalists to Gaza.  Also included in the consignment of humanitarian aid is an ambulance carrying all vital equipment for medical procedures.

Deputy Minister Hajaig in commenting on the aid to Gaza said, “It is truly heart-warming that the people of South Africa could reach out in thought, word and deed to the people of Palestine.  The South African government commends civil society and non-governmental organisations that have so ardently supported and co-ordinated this initiative.”

“The South African government calls on all sides to recommit themselves to realising the vision of a secure Israel and a secure Palestine, living side-by-side within secure borders,” continued Deputy Minister Hajaig.

“The South African government reiterates its view that there can be no military solution to the crisis between the two countries.  Indeed, violence between the two parties only serves to increase tensions between the peoples of Israel and Palestine while also threatening regional and international peace and security,” concluded Deputy Minister Hajaig.

Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853

Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152

23 January 2009



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