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Israel applauds Cyprus – Gaza sea route plan for humanitarian aid

Israel said Friday that it “welcomed” the inauguration of the maritime corridor from Cyprus to the Gaza Strip aimed at boosting the humanitarian aid to the embattled Palestinian enclave.

“The Cypriot initiative will allow the increase of humanitarian aid to Gaza,” Israeli Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lior Haiat said in a statement, without specifying the time frame for the arrival of the first shipment.

Haiat noted that Israel will control the entry of aid into Gaza by “conducting security checks in accordance with Israeli standards.”

During a visit to the Cypriot port of Larnaca, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Friday it is hopeful that the maritime corridor for providing humanitarian aid to Gaza would open this Sunday, according to a press release by the Cypriot Ministry of Interior.

The EU chief noted that an initial pilot operation will be launched Friday for the maritime corridor initiated by Cyprus, the EU, the United Arab Emirates, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Britain, and the United States.

The delivery of aid to Gaza is of critical urgency as the humanitarian crisis in the enclave has been worsening since Israel launched a large-scale offensive in Gaza to retaliate against a deadly Hamas attack on Israel on Oct. 7 last year. The Israeli offensive has so far killed more than 30,800 people in Gaza, mostly civilians, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry.

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Famagusta Gazette