The first relief ship reached the coast of Gaza

Last Updated on March 16, 2024 12:52 pm

The first ship carrying 200 tonnes of food aid for starving war-torn Gazans has reached the territory’s coast. The Spanish ship ‘Open Arms’ left Cyprus last Tuesday with food supplies as part of a desperate effort to bring aid to starving Gazans.

The ship arrived near the Gaza coast on Friday (March 15) afternoon local time.

Several videos posted on the Internet showed relief goods being loaded onto lorries by cranes from a ship anchored at a jetty on the Gaza coast, the BBC reported.

The country has been battered by indiscriminate attacks by Israel for more than five months. The jetty was built on the Gaza coast to allow aid to reach residents of the war-torn Palestinian enclave by sea.

The sea route has been chosen because air and ground aid has become difficult to reach in Gaza due to Israeli attacks. In his first attempt, the ship “Open Arms” reached the Gaza coast.

The World Central Kitchen (WCK) with the support of the United Arab Emirates has provided the food items, which include rice, flour, pulses, canned vegetables and protein foods.

A third of the more than two million Palestinians living in the poverty-stricken and jobless Gaza Strip depended directly on aid before the Israeli military operation. Relief supplies would normally reach the valley through Gaza’s southern Rafah border.

After the start of the operation of the Israeli forces on October 7, the relief supply system to Gaza through the land border is almost stopped. A few countries, including the United States, have been airdropping relief in the valley for some time, but it has not been very profitable in practice.

As a result, US President Joe Biden announced a few days ago that the US wants to send relief by sea to Gaza, and for this purpose US troops are going to build a temporary port in the valley soon. For this reason, the arrival of Open Arms on the Gaza coast is considered a ‘trial’ of the delivery of relief by water there.

In a statement, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said Israeli forces searched the ship off the coast of Cyprus before it left for Gaza.

After Open Arms anchored off the Gaza coast, World Center Kitchen founder and chief executive Jose Andres exulted in a message on social media, saying, ‘We did it!’

He added that more supplies will be sent to Gaza in the coming weeks.

It should be noted that the Gaza pro-independence group Hamas attacked the illegal Jewish settlement through the Erez border of Israel on October 7 in protest against the many crimes of genocide, oppression, land occupation, etc. carried out by the occupying Israeli forces on the Palestinian people for many decades. In response to that attack, the Israeli Air Force began operations in Gaza from that day, and a week later, the ground forces joined the Air Force.

More than 31,000 Palestinians have been killed in the operation so far, and the number of injured has exceeded 73,000. A large proportion of the dead and injured are women, children, adolescents and civilians.

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