Cyprus plans to send humanitarian aid directly to Gaza by ship; UN to receive it

AP , Wednesday 1 Nov 2023

Cyprus offered more detail Wednesday on its initiative to create a sea corridor for the steady flow of humanitarian assistance from Cyprus to Gaza, saying that aid-laden ships would sail directly to the blockaded and under-bombardment strip, where United Nations personnel would receive it for eventual distribution.

A Palestinian cooks food for people displaced in the ongoing Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip i
A Palestinian cooks food for people displaced in the ongoing Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip in Rafah on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023. AP


Cyprus government spokesman Constantinos Letymbiotis said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “saw the initiative in a positive light” during a long telephone conversation Tuesday evening with Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides.

Cyprus is still sketching out with fellow European Union member countries and Arab states the logistical details of its plan to ferry aid from its main port of Limassol to Gaza once conditions on the ground permit it.

The Israeli bombardment and airstrikes on the Gaza Strip have so far left over 8,800 Palestinians dead, including 3,600 children and 2,290 women, and more than 22,000 wounded.

A complete Israeli water-food-fuel blockade on the strip has left hundreds of thousands of the 2.3 million population in Gaza on the verge of starvation.

United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix said that U.N. officials “are actively working so that more humanitarian assistance can be delivered to the population of Gaza.”

Lacroix said it’s up to the parties to decide the best way to ensure that the aid reaches those who need it most.

“But I can assure you that the determination to work actively in that direction is there from the U.N.,” Lacroix told reporters after talks with Christodoulides in the Cypriot capital of Nicosia.

The U.N. official said the Cypriot initiative is “highly appreciated” by the world body.

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