Second shipment of aid for Gaza leaves Cyprus port


A ship, manned by the Spanish aid organization Open Arms, is seen off the shore of central Gaza Strip, on March 15, 2024. [Xinhua]

A shipment of about 875 tons of food aid for Gaza residents left the port early on Saturday afternoon, semi-state Cyprus News Agency reported.

It said that the food, mostly flour, rice and sugar, was loaded aboard three vessels and one platform which were already outside the port and were heading to Gaza.

This is the second aid shipment of aid to Gaza from Larnaca since the Amalthea marine aid corridor was initiated on March 12. The aid will be unloaded at a makeshift pier constructed on the Gaza coast with rubble from bombed-out buildings.

Deputy government spokesman Yiannis Antoniou said ahead of the departure of the vessels that the cargo had already been inspected by the authorities of Cyprus, and necessary inspections had been carried out by the Israelis.

Under an agreement reached with Israel for the lifting of the 2007 sea blockade of Gaza, Israeli security agents were given the right to inspect aid items before loading at Larnaca port.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Thursday that more than 1.1 million people in the Gaza Strip are facing "an extreme level of food insecurity," as Israel prevents aid from entering the enclave.

Also on Thursday, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague ordered Israel to do whatever is necessary to ensure that basic aid reaches the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip.

Israel launched a large-scale offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip to retaliate against a Hamas rampage in southern Israel on Oct. 7, 2023, during which about 1,200 people were killed and more than 250 were taken hostage.

The Palestinian death toll from ongoing Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip has risen to 32,705, the Hamas-run Health Ministry said on Saturday.

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