Press "Enter" to skip to content

Aid ship to leave Cyprus for Gaza

The first ship from Larnaca to transport humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip is expected to leave Cyprus either Sunday or sometime on Monday.

According to several reports, the vessel is now loaded and awaiting the green light to depart from port for the voyage to Gaza. The BBC adds, the ship is ‘still waiting for clearance to set sail’.

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. .

On Saturday night, President Christodoulides expressed satisfaction that the initiative is receiving international recognition. He stated that after the recent press conference with the president of the European Commission, heads of state and government and foreign ministers have contacted the Republic of Cyprus, expressing their desire to participate in this humanitarian initiative.

The ship, belonging to the Spanish charity Open Arms, is expected to take three days to reach Gaza  However, with no functioning harbour and shallow waters, it is still uncertain where the ship will dock when it reaches the enclave.

Though the project – formulated by Cyprus has been developed over the last month or so – it finally received the green light on Friday when European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced the immediate launch of the new maritime aid corridor.

“We are now very close to opening this corridor, hopefully this Saturday-Sunday, and I’m very glad to see an initial pilot will be launched today,” she told journalists after visiting Cyprus’s Joint Rescue Coordination Center in the port city of Larnaca.

“We are launching this Cyprus maritime corridor together: the European Union, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States,” she added.

In other developments, the US Navy’s general support ship “General Frank S. Besson” departed from the United States Navy base in Virginia, bound for the Eastern Mediterranean, to bolster the maritime humanitarian aid campaign in the Gaza Strip.

The vessel is carrying equipment to create a temporary harbour, which will serve to deliver humanitarian aid to the starving civilian population in the besieged Palestinian enclave.

The “General Frank S. Besson” set sail for the Eastern Mediterranean, less than 36 hours after US President Joe Biden announced that the US would actively participate in providing humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip by sea.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian death toll from ongoing Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip has risen to 30,960 with 72,524 others wounded, the Hamas-run Health Ministry said in a press statement on Saturday.

During the last 24 hours, the Israeli army killed 82 Palestinians and wounded 122 others, it added.

Spanish ship expected to leave Cyprus with aid for Gaza

A ship belonging to the Spanish charity Open Arm is expected to set sail this weekend for Gaza loaded with…

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…

Famagusta Gazette