Gaza aid ship to leave Cyprus today after delays as US hopes to build new aid route for trapped Palestinians

10 March 2024, 19:38

Gaza
A Gaza aid ship coordinated by the UK, US and European Commission is set to leave port in Cyprus in just hours - as the US sends a support ship capable of building a floating pier to the Middle East. Picture: Alamy

By Chay Quinn

A Gaza aid ship coordinated by the UK, US and European Commission is set to leave port in Cyprus in just hours - as the US sends a support ship capable of building a floating pier to the Middle East.

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The crucial Spanish-owned aid ship named "Open Arms" is coming as part of an attempt to open a new corridor to Gaza in order to stave off a famine which is "almost imminent" according to the United Nations.

The ship was supposed to depart earlier this week - but suffered delays on Saturday.

Speaking earlier, the President of Cyprus Nikos Christodoulides told reporters: “The ship will depart Larnaca in the next 24 hours. I can't say the exact time for security reasons. We are in constant contact, on the one hand, with the states that supported this initiative."

A US military ship capable of building a floating aid port left port in Virginia as it heads to Gaza to help starving Palestinians.

In this photo provided by U.S. military's Central Command, U.S. Army Vessel (USAV) General Frank S. Besson (LSV-1) from the 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary), 3rd E
The General Frank S Besson support ship set sail on Saturday and comes as part of US President Joe Biden's plan to increase the amount of aid getting into the besieged territory. Picture: Alamy

The General Frank S Besson support ship set sail on Saturday and comes as part of US President Joe Biden's plan to increase the amount of aid getting into the besieged territory.

Part of this plan includes thousands of meals being airdropped by US and Jordanian forces into the territory which is currently being invaded by Israeli forces.

President Biden also assured the public that no American troops will step foot in Gaza as part of the new initiative.

Israel welcomed the ocean initiative, and said aid would be delivered after security checks were carried out in Cyprus "in accordance with Israeli standards".

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.

President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign rally Saturday, March 9, 2024, at Pullman Yards in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
President Biden also assured the public that no American troops will step foot in Gaza as part of the new initiative. Picture: Alamy
Southern Israel, Israel. 10th Mar, 2024. What is believed to be a United Stat
Part of Biden's aid plan includes thousands of meals being airdropped by US and Jordanian forces into the territory which is currently being invaded by Israeli forces. Picture: Alamy
Daily life in Gaza under Israeli attacks
More than 30,900 people have been killed in Gaza since October 7, the territory's Hamas-run health ministry says. Picture: Getty

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 at least 576,000 people across the Gaza Strip - one quarter of the population - are facing catastrophic levels of food insecurity.

Western countries have pressed Israel to expand land deliveries by facilitating more routes and opening additional crossings.

Lorries have been entering the south of Gaza through the Egyptian-controlled Rafah crossing and the Israeli-controlled Kerem Shalom crossing. But the north, which was the focus of the first phase of the Israeli ground offensive, has been largely cut off from assistance in recent months.

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