The first sea aid shipment arrives in Gaza

The first ship carrying humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip through a sea corridor from Cyprus began unloading its 200-ton cargo on the coast of the Palestinian Strip, Friday, according to what a spokeswoman for the organization responsible for the operation told AFP.

Linda Roth said that her organization, World Center Kitchen, is “unloading the tugboat that has now stopped next to the temporary pier, after it was towed by the Open Arms organization ship that sailed from Cyprus.”

For its part, the Israeli army said in a statement that its forces “deployed to secure the area.”

The army added that “the ship underwent a full security inspection,” stressing that the entry of humanitarian aid “does not violate” the blockade imposed by the Hebrew state on the Gaza Strip since 2007.

“Open Arms” sailed from the Cypriot port of Larnaca on Tuesday, heading to Gaza via a humanitarian sea corridor. The shipment of 200 tons of food (rice, flour, and canned goods) represents about 300,000 meals, and is provided by the “World Center Kitchen” non-governmental organization run by the Spanish-American chef, José Andrés.

World Center Kitchen, which operates in partnership with the Emirates, is currently loading about 300 tons of food on board another ship in Larnaca, the date of which has not yet been announced.

In the face of insufficient aid arriving by truck, many countries began organizing airdrops of aid, in addition to opening the sea corridor from Cyprus, but they all confirm that this cannot constitute an alternative to land corridors in the face of the starvation facing the residents of the Palestinian Strip, which was devastated by the war. The conflict between Hamas and Israel has been ongoing for more than five months.

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