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As Hunger Rises in Gaza, Second Humanitarian Aid Ship Coming from Cyprus

LARNACA -A three-ship convoy left a port in Cyprus March 30 with 400 tons of food and other supplies for Gaza as concerns about hunger in the territory soar, the island becoming a conduit for getting food and other essentials to Palestinians.

They are trapped there during Israel’s invasion in a hunt for Hamas terrorists who killed more than 1,200 Israelis in an October, 2023 raid, slaughtering and beheading victims, including children and babies.

That brought retaliation from Israel which has been condemned by supporters of the Palestinians and complaints of a genocide being carried out and Cyprus finding itself the jumping off point for countries wanting to send assistance.

World Central Kitchen said the vessels and a barge were carrying ready-to-eat items like rice, pasta, flour, legumes, canned vegetables and proteins that were enough to prepare more than 1 million meals. Also on board were dates, which traditionally eaten to break the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan.

It was not clear when the ships would reach Gaza. An Open Arms ship inaugurated the direct sea route to the Palestinian territory earlier this month with 200 tons of food, water and other aid.

The United Nations and partners have warned that famine could occur in devastated, largely isolated northern Gaza as early as this month. Humanitarian officials say deliveries by sea and air are not enough and that Israel must allow far more aid by road.

An aid ship operated by the Spanish NGO Open Arms delivered 200 tonnes of food aid on March 16, which WCK distributed, said Al Jazeera.

During that mission, a makeshift jetty was constructed from rubble to enable offloading in the enclave, which does not have any port facilities. The mission was financed mainly by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and received the support of the Cypriot authorities.

(Material from The Associated Press was used in this report)

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