Starving Palestinians Waiting for Humanitarian Aid Boat from Cyprus

LARNACA – A ship carrying dozens of tons of food for Palestinians trapped by Israel’s invasion of the Gaza Strip will head from Cyprus as fighting remained intense and the sea corridor’s safety remained uncertain.

The United Nations said a quarter of the population of 2.4 million people faces starvation as essential supplies have been unable to get through during the ongoing war and no ceasefire in sight.

Gaza was getting ready to leave Cyprus on Sunday, launching a yet untested maritime route to get aid to the enclave, where the United Nations estimates a quarter of the population faces starvation.

The sea route aims to counter aid access restrictions, which humanitarians and foreign governments have blamed on Israel, more than five months into the war which has left Palestinians struggling to survive, reported France 24.

Cyprus is the jumping off point for the boat and plans to establish a way to get food, fuel and medical supplies to the cut-off strip on the seaside. The Open Arms, a salvage vessel, will be towing a barge with 200 tons of food, mostly funded by the United Arab Emirates.

The supplies were sourced by charity World Central Kitchen (WCK), which is working with Spanish non-governmental organization Proactiva Open Arms. WCK said it has another 500 tonnes of supplies in Cyprus, reported Reuters.


Cyprus President Nikos Christodoulides, whose administration has lobbied hard for months to establish a maritime aid link from the island to Gaza, said the mission could take off on March 10.

That would effectively signal the first easing of an Israeli naval blockade imposed on Gaza in 2007 after Hamas took control of the Palestinian enclave. Israel invaded after Hamas terrorists raised Israel in October, 2023, killing more than 1200 people.

The US Army has dispatched a logistics ship carrying equipment, days after the U.S. President Joe Biden said the U.S. would build a temporary pier to facilitate aid deliveries, which could take two months.

Cyprus said its maritime corridor offers a quick way to get aid delivered and cargoes will undergo security inspections in Cyprus by a team including Israel, eliminating the need for screenings at its final offloading point to remove potential hold-ups in aid deliveries.


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