After extensive deliberations and preparations spanning several weeks, Israel has approved the establishment of a humanitarian aid corridor between Cyprus and Gaza, marking the launch of the first mission of the government’s ‘Amalthia’ plan.
As reported by the state broadcaster CyBC, a British vessel set sail from Larnaca port on Saturday, carrying 80 tons of humanitarian assistance.
The Royal Navy provided escort for the ship, which is slated to transport the aid through Israel.
Multiple sources indicate that both Cyprus and the UK are poised to release a joint statement on this matter later Monday.
The approval for this initiative was granted to Cyprus following a recent visit by a delegation of Israeli technocrats. During their visit, these officials conducted inspections of the relevant areas and evaluated the procedures for the control and loading of humanitarian aid.
Following the agreement of all involved parties, namely the Republic of Cyprus, the United Kingdom, and Israel, the implementation of the humanitarian aid transfer has commenced.
The initial mission is considered a pilot, and the outcome will determine subsequent actions.
In a recent interview with Euronews, President Nikos Christodoulides mentioned that “the British already have a vessel in Cyprus that does not require special infrastructure in the port of Gaza, which has been destroyed. It can immediately transport humanitarian aid to Gaza.”
He also confirmed the presence of the Israeli delegation in Cyprus last week.
According to President Christodoulides, another team from various Israeli services is expected within the week. He emphasised readiness, stating, “I must mention, as I also told the (European) Council, the willingness we see from the UK to assist in the implementation of this humanitarian corridor.”
“The situation is tragic, especially for civilians; I believe much more needs to be done to protect them. There is no justification for killing civilian populations, and within this framework, our approach is to provide uninterrupted humanitarian assistance,” stated the president.
He once again expressed his disagreement with the fact that the EU leaders’ summit in Brussels did not yield results on the Middle East issue.
Christodoulides reiterated that “we are sending a very wrong message to the region, which is why, as the Republic of Cyprus, we engaged with some of our partners in the Mediterranean states to attempt to set up a corridor with partners in the region, so that we can begin preparing for the day after the war.”