Gaza aid due to sail soon from Cyprus, source says

NICOSIA – Humanitarian aid for Gaza is expected to sail from Cyprus in the coming days, a source familiar with the matter said earlier.

It was not immediately clear which country was supplying the aid, where it would land or how it would be distributed. The source said aid was being coordinated with the United Arab Emirates.

“They want the aid to be dispatched before the start of Ramadan” on Sunday, the source tells Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Yesterday, Israel’s Channel 13 reported that Israel will allow humanitarian aid to enter Gaza via the sea for the first time since the October 7 and that the United Arab Emirates will finance the aid shipments, which will be sent from the Gulf state to Cyprus, where they will be subject to inspection by Israeli officials.

From there, the ships will travel to Gaza and unload on the coast, according to the report.

The US has made a renewed push for a marine humanitarian corridor to be established following last week’s deadly mass-casualty incident where dozens of Palestinians were killed trying to collect aid in northern Gaza, which has been largely cut off from humanitarian assistance.

Delivering aid to Gaza has become urgent as a humanitarian crisis there deepens. Aid groups say a quarter of the population is in danger of starvation as the devastating war rages on, sparked by Hamas’s October 7 attack.

The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry said two Palestinians, aged 15 and 72, died of dehydration and malnutrition on Wednesday, raising the toll of such deaths to 20. Reuters could not verify the deaths.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was due in Cyprus late Thursday and was to visit on Friday the port of Larnaca, which has been identified as a launch point for aid shipments.

Cyprus lies 370 km (230 miles) northwest of Gaza in the Mediterranean and is the closest European Union state to the region.

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