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Haniyeh applauds Miles of Smiles aid convoy

June 21, 2011 12:34 A.M. (Updated: June 21, 2011 10:06 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) – Prime Minister of the Hamas government in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh said Monday that he was proud and thankful for the support of international activists, who arrived in Gaza Sunday with the European aid convoy Miles of Smiles.

During a reception Monday evening, Haniyeh said that the convoy - the third to arrive in the coastal enclave since 2008 - had become a part of Palestinian culture. "You bring happiness to each Palestinian home as your goal is to help the Palestinian people, steadfast in the face of occupation and siege," he said.

He added, "Some people might think that after you have arrived in Gaza, your mission is over. However, we know that you still have a lot of work to finish, and for that we greatly respect you and appreciate your efforts."

The convoy, he explained, teaches the Palestinians, Arabs, and all free people of the world many lessons.

For his part, the convoy’s coordinator, Isam Yousif, promised to continue organizing other aid convoys to support the Palestinian people.

"Miles of Smiles came to draw a smile on the faces of Gaza’s children," he said. He highlighted that the convoy brought medicines worth half a million dollars in addition to milk and other food products.

Former British minister of international development, Shahid Malik, who arrived with Miles of Smiles, described the Palestinian people and its leaders as a great example to be followed.

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