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Second convoy dispatches 400 tons of food aid from Cyprus to Gaza

The Open Arms, a rescue vessel owned by a Spanish NGO, is moored at the port of Larnaca, Cyprus, March 30, 2024. (Photo: REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou)

A convoy carrying around 400 tons of food was dispatched from Cyprus on Saturday to improve the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip. It was the second shipment to depart from Cyprus in a short time amid the ongoing war between the terrorist organization Hamas and Israel.

All humanitarian aid bound for Gaza is inspected by Israeli authorities to minimize the smuggling of vital goods for the terrorist organization Hamas.

The United States and its allies established the maritime route from Cyprus as an alternative humanitarian aid corridor into the embattled Gaza Strip. There is evidence showing that Hamas operatives deliberately steal humanitarian aid, thus increasing the suffering of civilians in Gaza, and contributing to international pressure on Israel to call a ceasefire.

In early March, the Biden administration decided to construct a temporary naval dock in Gaza for receiving humanitarian assistance by sea. While Washington cooperates with the Israeli government in facilitating humanitarian aid to Gaza, the Biden administration reportedly decided to proceed unilaterally with the naval dock initiative.

“We’re not waiting on the Israelis. This is a moment for American leadership, and we are building a coalition of countries to address this urgent need,” a U.S. official stated.

Gaza’s civilian population has paid a high cost for Hamas’ strategic decision to deliberately embed itself in civilian structures, such as hospitals, schools, mosques and residential buildings. The United Nations and other aid agencies estimate that over 80% of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents have been internally displaced in the coastal enclave.

In December, Israel designated Muwasi, a strip of land along Gaza’s southern coast, as a safe zone amid the fighting with Hamas forces. A large number of Gazans currently reside there in temporary tent camps.

A Gazan woman, Wafaa Abu Samra, told the Los Angeles Times that mothers in Muwasi encourage their children to stay active by using their creative abilities.

“We tell them to write and draw. They only draw a tank, a missile or planes,” Samra said. “We tell them to draw something beautiful, a rose or anything. They do not see these things,” she added.

Many international players are quick to blame Israel's military strategy for the growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza. However, Israeli President Isaac Herzog criticized the UN in December for its insufficient handling of humanitarian aid into Gaza.

“Unfortunately, due to the utter failure of the UN in its work with other partners in the region, they have been unable to bring in more than 125 trucks (of aid) a day,” Herzog noted.

“Today it is possible to provide three times the amount of humanitarian aid to Gaza if the UN – instead of complaining all day – would do its job,” the Israeli president added.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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