(AFP) – Mar 10, 2009
GAZA CITY (AFP) — Firebrand MP George Galloway on Tuesday donated thousands of dollars and dozens of vehicles to the Hamas-run government in the Gaza Strip after arriving in an aid convoy.
"We are giving you now 100 vehicles and all of their contents, and we make no apology for what I am about to say. We are giving them to the elected government of Palestine," Galloway said at a press conference in Gaza City.
Galloway said he personally would be donating three cars and 25,000 pounds to Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniya as he dared the West to try to prosecute him for aiding what it considers a terror group.
"I say now to the British and European governments, if you want to take me to court, I promise you there is no jury in all of Britain who will convict me. They will convict you."
Galloway made the announcement at an outdoor conference in the presence of several senior Hamas officials, and his words were greeted by shouts of "Allahu Akbar!" (God is Great).
Israel and Egypt have sealed Gaza off to all but limited humanitarian aid since Hamas seized power in June 2007 after a week of bloody street battles with forces loyal to the Western-backed Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.
Despite Hamas' victory in 2006 parliamentary elections, Israel, the European Union and the United States consider the movement a terrorist organisation and have no direct contacts with the group.
After arriving in Gaza on Monday, Galloway protested Israel's "genocidal aggression" against Gaza, referring to a massive 22-day Israeli offensive launched in December that killed more than 1,300 Palestinians.
The military offensive was aimed at halting Palestinian rocket attacks on southern Israel, which have continued despite a January 18 ceasefire.
The convoy set out from London last month but was temporarily halted in Egypt when Cairo learned it was also bearing non-medical aid destined for the impoverished coastal territory's 1.5 million residents.
The convoy included 12 ambulances and a fire engine and carried aid worth more than one million pounds.
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