The ship delivering aid from Cyprus to Gaza's coast. (Twitter Screenshot) (Twitter Screenshot)
cyprus aid

World Central Kitchen, a major donor to Gaza relief efforts, said that it was delivering rice, flour, legumes, canned vegetables and proteins.


The Israel Defense Forces said on Thursday that it was preparing to facilitate the first entry of aid to the Gaza Strip via the Mediterranean Sea.

A ship carrying nearly 200 tons of food for Gaza is en route from Cyprus as part of a pilot program.

The vessel is carrying humanitarian aid from the U.S.-based World Central Kitchen in a project funded by the United Arab Emirates.

Israel inspected the shipment at the port of Larnaca before it set sail on Tuesday.

“This was carried out in coordination with Israeli security and civilian authorities, in accordance with the directive of the government of Israel and at the request of the U.S. government,” according to the Israel Defense Forces.

All of the equipment on board the vessel underwent a “comprehensive” security check, the IDF said.

World Central Kitchen, a major donor to Gaza relief efforts, said that it was delivering rice, flour, legumes, canned vegetables and proteins via a barge towed by a ship belonging to the Spanish Open Arms aid group.

The UAE is providing most of the funding for the mission and the Cypriot Foreign Ministry is assisting in the effort.

World Central Kitchen said that it was building a temporary landing jetty in Gaza from destroyed buildings and rubble from the over five-month-old war between Israel and the Hamas terrorist group.

The initiative is separate from U.S. President Joe Biden’s announcement last week during his State of the Union address that the United States is establishing a temporary pier off the Gaza coast to increase the flow of humanitarian aid into the Strip.

Some 100 U.S. soldiers in four ships set off from the southeastern coast of Virginia on Tuesday for the eastern Mediterranean to construct the pier.

The vessels are carrying equipment and supplies “to establish a roll-on, roll-off dock capability that allows ship to shore humanitarian assistance to Gaza,” according to U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM).

Biden said on March 8 that Israel will provide security for the temporary port.

In addition, the Israeli military is piloting a program to deliver aid directly into northern Gaza to bypass Hamas, of which Israel claims Hamas hijacks upwards of 60%.

Six aid trucks from the World Food Programme entered the northern Gaza Strip from Israel early on Tuesday via a gate in the security fence after being inspected at Kerem Shalom, according to the army, which facilitated the entry.

“This was carried out in accordance with government directives and in coordination with the IDF and COGAT [Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories], following an agreement with the American government,” the IDF said. (COGAT is the unit within the Israeli Defense Ministry responsible for implementing civilian policy in Judea and Samaria and vis a vis the Gaza Strip.)

Furthermore, the IDF said that over 1,000 aid packages were air-dropped into Gaza by foreign countries during the last week.

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