Gaza aid ship yet to leave Cyprus

Gaza aid ship yet to leave Cyprus
Gaza aid ship yet to leave Cyprus

We show you our most important and recent visitors news details Gaza aid ship yet to leave Cyprus in the following article

Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - LONDON — A ship carrying humanitarian aid, that was expected to depart for Gaza on Sunday, is still docked in Cyprus.

A charity leading the mission told the BBC it is "a quickly evolving and fluid situation", but hopes the ship, Open Arms, will set sail soon.

On Sunday evening, the sighting of the new moon marked the start of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in Gaza.

Many had hoped for a ceasefire by now, but negotiations between Israel and Hamas have largely stalled.

President Joe Biden issued a Ramadan message on Sunday, and said the suffering of Palestinians would be in his "front of mind" as Ramadan arrived at "a moment of immense pain."

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also marked the beginning of the holy month with a video message of "solidarity and support to all those suffering from the horrors in Gaza."

The UN has previously warned a quarter of Gaza's population is on the brink of famine, and children are starving to death there.

Once it sets sail from Cyprus - the closest EU country to Gaza - the ship will tow a barge loaded with 200 tonnes of food, including rice, flour and cans of meat and fish, sourced by US charity World Central Kitchen (WCK).

It is expected to take about two days to reach an undisclosed location off the coast of Gaza, using a new sea route the EU said would be opened over the weekend.

A spokesperson for WCK told the BBC the charity has started building a jetty to safely get the food to shore. They added WCK has another 500 tonnes of aid in Cyprus ready to go on future boats.

Separately, a US military ship is sailing towards Gaza, with equipment on board to start building a floating dock to help get aid deliveries into the Strip by sea.

Aid deliveries into Gaza have been increasingly difficult and dangerous - the World Food Programme paused its deliveries to northern Gaza last month, after its convoys endured "complete chaos and violence", the organisation said.

With land deliveries near impossible, several nations have turned to air drops.

But the situation in Gaza is so dire, that the drops are an inefficient way of getting supplies to people who need them most.

And on Friday, there were reports that five people had been killed by a falling aid package north of Gaza City, when its parachute failed to open properly.

Israel's military launched an air and ground campaign in the Gaza Strip after Hamas's attacks on Israel on 7 October, in which about 1,200 people were killed and 253 others were taken hostage.

More than 30,900 people have been killed in Gaza since then, the territory's Hamas-run health ministry says.

The conflict has created a growing humanitarian crisis, and the UN has warned that famine in Gaza is "almost inevitable", with an estimated 300,000 Palestinians are living there with little food or clean water. — BBC

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