CAIRO — A Gaza-bound aid convoy in Jordan led by British MP George Galloway will not be allowed into Egypt through the Red Sea port of Nuweiba -- the most direct route -- Egypt's foreign ministry spokesman said.
There will be "no entry from Nuweiba. Entry can only be through El-Arish," on the Mediterranean coast, Hossam Zaki told AFP.
Around 250 trucks laden with European, Turkish and Arab aid -- both food and medical supplies-- arrived in Jordan from Syria on Wednesday and were headed to the Red Sea port of Aqaba for the ferry journey across to the Egyptian Sinai port of Nuweiba.
Entering through El-Arish port would mean going around the Sinai peninsula and through the Suez Canal into the Meditarranean.
In a statement, the foreign ministry said: "The Egyptian government welcomes the passage of the convoy into the Gaza Strip on December 27, on condition that it abides by the mechanisms in place for humanitarian aid convoys to the Palestinian people, including most importantly the entry of convoys through the port of El-Arish."
Egypt's Rafah crossing with Gaza is the only access point into the Palestinian territory that bypasses Israel.
British MP George Galloway, who is leading the convoy, had issued a statement urging Egypt to facilitate the convoy's passage.
In March, Galloway handed over thousands of dollars and dozens of vehicles to the Hamas-run government in Gaza after arriving in an aid convoy.
Israel and Egypt have severely restricted travel to and from the Gaza Strip since the Islamist Hamas movement seized power there in June 2007.