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Three ships carrying Gaza aid set sail from Cyprus

March 30, 2024

A vessel carrying nearly 400 tons of food has set off for Gaza amid UN warnings that famine is imminent in the north of the Palestinian territory.

Nahe Zypern Larnaca | Hilfsgüter für Gaza
Image: Petros Karadjias/AP/picture alliance

A maritime convoy of three ships carrying hundreds of tons of aid for Gaza left the Cypriot port of Larnaca on Saturday.

The flotilla has been organized by two charities — the US-based World Central Kitchen and the Spanish group Open Arms.

"We're sending shelf stable and ready-to-eat food and a special delivery of dates provided by the UAE for Palestinians observing Ramadan," World Central Kitchen said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

Second maritime aid delivery

World Central Kitchen said on its website that, to date, its teams have provided more than 43 million meals by land, sea, and air to Palestinians facing starvation.

Earlier in March, the organization shipped more than 200 tons of food to communities in northern Gaza in the first maritime aid delivery.

The US-headquartered humanitarian NGO said that, in that first operation, it had managed to build their own jetty in Gaza using rubble, to safely unload cargo.

The Palestinian territory has no harbor facility and the US armed forces are constructing a large floating dock for the delivery of aid.

Should airdrops into Gaza continue?

UN famine warning in northern Gaza

The United Nations and aid organizations have warned of an impending famine in northern Gaza. Israel has contested the UN-backed report on the humanitarian situation in Gaza, saying there are "factual and methodological flaws."

Israel began targeting Hamas after the Islamist militant group mounted a large-scale terror attack in southern Israel in which it killed about 1,200 people and took some 250 hostages.

As Israel expanded its operations against Hamas militants, more than half of Gaza's total population of some 2.1 million has taken refuge in Rafah in the south of the territory.

The Hamas-run health ministry says that over 32,000 people have been killed in Gaza since the war began. Hamas is classified as a terrorist organization by the EU, the US and Israel.

kb/rc (Reuters, AFP, AP)