Greece sent the first shipment of humanitarian aid to Gaza on Monday onboard a C-130 military transport aircraft.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that the plane landed at the El Arish airport in Egypt.
The plane was loaded with essential supplies, including food, drinking water, and medicine and will be distributed to unarmed civilians in Gaza as Israel intensifies its attacks following the terrorist atrocity of Hamas on October 7th.
Άφιξη στο αεροδρόμιο El Arish Αιγύπτου C-130 με φορτίο 🇬🇷 ανθρωπιστικής βοήθειας για άμαχους της Γάζας. Υποδοχή αποστολής από τον Πρέσβη της Ελλάδας στην Αίγυπτο pic.twitter.com/Lfg6LEIOdj
— Υπουργείο Εξωτερικών (@GreeceMFA) November 6, 2023
Speaking in Parliament last week Foreign Minister George Gerapetritis said the Greek government is collaborating with the governments of Cyprus and France on “a highly challenging endeavor” to offer humanitarian assistance through a sea route to Gaza.
“For the humanitarian corridor through the sea route directly to Gaza, the Greek government is in fact in consultation with counterpart governments, especially of Cyprus and France,” Gerapetritis said. “We were also in consultation with Israel to ensure the smooth passage of this corridor.”
“Of course, we understand that this is a project with an extremely high technical difficulty due to the fact that there is no safe port in the Gaza Strip so that any ship can safely sail,” the Foreign Minister pointed out.
Greece calls for humanitarian aid corridors and pauses in Gaza
Earlier, Greece’s Health Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis said that Athens is working with the UN and other countries to send aid to the besieged Gaza Strip.
During a speech in Parliament, he stressed that there should be both humanitarian corridors and humanitarian pauses in the war in support of Gaza’s civilians.
The visuals that the media reports from Gaza are terrible and inhumane, he said, adding that the conflict, which has so far led to the deaths of thousands of people, especially children, has gone beyond limits.
Cyprus examines sea route to Gaza
Lat week, Cyprus offered more detail on its initiative to create a sea corridor for the steady flow of humanitarian assistance from Cyprus to Gaza, saying that aid-laden ships would sail directly to the enclave, where United Nations personnel would receive it for eventual distribution.
Cyprus government spokesman Constantinos Letymbiotis said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “saw the initiative in a positive light” during a long telephone conversation Tuesday evening with Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides.
Cyprus is still sketching out with fellow European Union member countries and Arab states the logistical details of its plan to ferry aid from its main port of Limassol to Gaza once conditions on the ground permit it.
The Israeli military has expanded its air and ground attacks in Gaza, which has been under relentless airstrikes since the Palestinian group. Hamas launched a cross-border attack on October 7th that has killed more than 1,400 Israelis.
Nearly 10,600 people have since been killed in the conflict, including at least 9,061 Palestinians.
Basic supplies are running low for Gaza’s 2.3 million residents due to Israel’s “full siege,” in addition to the large number of casualties and displacements.