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Israel grants initial approval for Cyprus-Gaza humanitarian corridor

Aid shipments would cross the Mediterranean Sea route after being inspected by Israel.

Port of Larnaca, Republic of Cyprus. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Port of Larnaca, Republic of Cyprus. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Israel has granted preliminary approval for a humanitarian sea corridor between Cyprus and the Gaza Strip, Israel Hayom reported on Tuesday.

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen conveyed the decision on Tuesday to his Cypriot and British counterparts, stating Jerusalem’s position that it will be possible to begin shipments via the Mediterranean route upon completion of the required preparations.

Greece and Cyprus proposed the maritime corridor for Gaza at the start of the war, after Jerusalem announced that it would no longer take responsibility for the needs of the Strip’s civilian population.

Last week, Cohen visited the Cypriot port of Larnaca for talks with his counterpart Constantinos Kombos, where the two diplomats reviewed the ZENON multifunctional coordination center, which is expected to be the starting point of the corridor.

According to the plan, the goods will be inspected there with the security coordination and approval of Israel before embarking on the journey to Al-Mawasi on the southern coast of the Gaza Strip.

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 purpose of creating a maritime corridor is to completely disconnect economically from Gaza. We will not allow a return to the reality that preceded the murderous terrorist attack of the seventh of October,” said Cohen.

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