Israel has basically given Cyprus the green light for a humanitarian aid corridor to the Gaza Strip across the Mediterranean. An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Thursday that his country had agreed to the proposal on the condition that international aid shipments be checked in Cyprus "under Israeli supervision" and then delivered directly to the Gaza Strip.
Israel has "in principle" given the green light for the use of the sea route via Cyprus for aid deliveries, ministry spokesman Lior Haiat told the AFP news agency. "But there are still some logistical issues that need to be resolved."
Cyprus made the proposal more than a month ago. The aim is to bring large quantities of urgently needed relief supplies to the Gaza Strip by sea. The aid that has so far reached the Palestinian territory overland is far from sufficient. The 2.4 million people in the Gaza Strip lack water, food, fuel and medicine.
As a result of the fighting in the Gaza Strip, 40 percent of the population living there are at risk of starvation, according to the UN Palestinian relief agency UNRWA. “Every day is a fight for survival, for finding food and water,” wrote UNRWA’s Gaza director, Thomas White, on Thursday on the online platform X, formerly Twitter. Gaza is struggling with a hunger catastrophe that threatens 40 percent of the people.
Cyprus is located around 370 kilometers from the Gaza Strip and maintains good relations with both Israel and neighboring Arab states. Many foreign citizens were evacuated from Israel via the Mediterranean island following the attack on Israel by the radical Islamic Hamas on October 7th.
The Gaza War began with Hamas's unprecedented attack on Israel. Hundreds of Hamas fighters entered Israel on October 7th and committed atrocities there, mostly against civilians. According to Israeli information, around 1,140 people were killed and 250 others were taken hostage in the Gaza Strip. 129 hostages are still in the Palestinian territory.
In response to the Hamas attack, Israel has been attacking targets in the Gaza Strip. According to the Hamas Ministry of Health, which cannot be independently verified, more than 21,300 people have been killed so far.