newsIsrael at War

Israel, Cyprus float plan for maritime aid corridor to Gaza

If established, the corridor will replace Israel's Erez and Kerem Shalom crossings both during and after the war.

The port of Limassol, the busiest in Cyprus. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
The port of Limassol, the busiest in Cyprus. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Israel and Cyprus are reportedly working to establish a humanitarian corridor between the nearby island nation and the Gaza Strip, to ensure that aid reaches the Palestinian residents of the Hamas-ruled enclave from around the world.

If established, the corridor will replace the Erez and Kerem Shalom crossings so that civilian supplies will no longer be transferred through Israel, both during and after the war.

The proposal to establish a humanitarian corridor was initiated by the Cypriots and was reportedly discussed Thursday in a meeting between the foreign ministers of the two countries, Eli Cohen and Dr. Constantinos Kombos, who came to Israel for a solidarity visit.

They agreed to form working groups to thoroughly examine the initiative ahead of future implementation.

Under the proposal, Cyprus will allocate a designated area in the Larnaca Port region to where all humanitarian supplies to Gaza, such as water, food and medicine, will be diverted.

Once inspected by Israel, these products will be delivered to Gaza although it is not yet clear where in the Strip the vessels will dock.

Among the proposed options are: receiving the cargo at the small port in Gaza; unloading the cargo on the beach; or transferring the cargo to the El-Arish port in Egypt before arriving at its destination.

Earlier this week, senior officials from the Israeli Foreign Ministry, IDF, Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), and other entities held discussions to examine the various aspects of the proposal, which has a very complex implementation.

A diplomatic source told Israel Hayom that “the Cypriot proposal is a welcome development, but we need to discuss its various components to ensure that the corridor is secure and that the aid ultimately reaches the right hands within the Gaza Strip.”

Originally published by Israel Hayom.

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