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HomeeuropeIsraeli FM backs plan to 'fast track' Gaza aid via Cyprus

Israeli FM backs plan to 'fast track' Gaza aid via Cyprus

LARNACA, Cyprus – Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen expressed support during his visit to Cyprus on Dec 20 for plans to send humanitarian aid to the besieged Gaza Strip from the Mediterranean island.

Cyprus has proposed establishing a corridor to collect, inspect, and store aid on the island before shipping it to Gaza.

Mr Cohen, after talks with his Cypriot counterpart Constantinos Kombos, emphasised the need for an “organised and well-inspected” transfer of aid.

“We aim to create a fast track for humanitarian aid to Gaza through this corridor,” he told reporters.

The ministers visited a search and rescue coordination centre in Larnaca, discussing logistical details for the plan.

Mr Cohen also inspected facilities at Larnaca port, the departure point for aid shipments.

Cyprus was ready to deliver large quantities of aid through this “maritime lifeline” expected to provide “a sustained flow of high-volume humanitarian assistance to the civilians” in Gaza, Mr Kombos said.

“We look forward to your green light for the first voyage,” he told Mr Cohen.

Under the plan, the aid would checked in Cyprus by a joint committee, including representatives from Israel.

The initiative aims to enhance humanitarian relief to Gaza by importing large volumes by ship instead of the limited deliveries by truck through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt.

Israel is facing mounting international pressure that could speed up the dispatch of much-needed aid to Gaza, subjected to months of sustained Israeli bombardment.

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Cypriot President Nicos Christodoulides has promoted his Gaza initiative among fellow EU leaders and friendly Arab states, and Larnaca was chosen due to its proximity to the Middle East.

The city is also home to the island’s international airport, expected to receive aid from other countries. AFP

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