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Cyprus to Gaza corridor will continue to operate, Cyprus president says

April 2, 2024 at 1:40 pm

Cyprus’ President Nikos Christodoulides arrives at EU Leaders Summit on October 27, 2023 in Brussels, Belgium [Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images]

Cyprus’s president today urged an immediate investigation into the killing of seven aid workers in an Israeli air strike in Gaza, saying the US-based charity they were members of was a “crucial partner” in efforts to get aid to the enclave by sea, Reuters reports.

“We need to double down on efforts to get aid to Gaza,” Nikos Christodoulides said, after a meeting with European Parliament President Roberta Metsola.

The Israeli strike hit a convoy carrying a World Central Kitchen team which had just unloaded more than 100 tonnes of food aid brought to Gaza via the maritime route from Cyprus. Citizens from Australia, Poland and Britain were among the victims.

The charity said it was pausing operations in the region with immediate effect. WCK has been active in Gaza since October, bringing food by land routes and also participating in air drops.

Earlier this month, it launched an inaugural sea corridor transporting aid to the enclave from Cyprus.

A second convoy of ships taking just over 300 tonnes of aid left Cyprus last weekend and got to Gaza around midday yesterday, Cypriot Foreign Minister Constantinos Kombos said.

Kombos said Cypriot authorities had been in touch with the WCK.

The strike occurred 12 kilometres (7.46 miles) from the landing area for aid – a makeshift jetty created by the charity. The aid workers had just ended a shift halfway through the offloading process, which was supposed to resume early today, the Cypriot minister said.

“This is something that has now been frozen and since WCK has made the announcement – they will be leaving the area in order to come back, regroup and see and assess what the next steps are,” Kombos said.

READ: US, UK, Australia citizens killed in Israel strike on aid convoy in Gaza