Greece is ready to participate in a sea corridor that would offer humanitarian aid to the besieged population of Gaza, Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Thursday.
The Greek Premier participated in the international conference for aid to Gaza organized by France.
“Greece, together with Cyprus, is a country in the immediate neighborhood, and we stand ready to contribute to any effort for the alleviation of the suffering,” he told officials from Western and Arab nations, the United Nations and nongovernmental organizations who gathered in Paris.
“We’ve discussed extensively with Cyprus our contribution to the idea of a sea corridor. We very much support what President Christodoulides said about providing humanitarian assistance to Gaza at an increased volume, which only a ship can provide. The Cypriot proposal is well thought out,” Mitsotakis said.
“I think the most difficult aspect is to identify a proper landing zone in southern Gaza to establish the necessary port infrastructure and of course, to ensure the safety of the route, which would need the cooperation of all actors involved.
“If these preconditions are met, Greece would stand ready to provide naval assets to assist with this project and would be looking to all involved actors to help us with possible logistics, especially those who know the geography of the area in much more detail,” Mitsotakis added.
The Greek PM stressed that “Palestinian statehood is a precondition for a long-term peace in the region and the two-state solution, the only possible avenue that we can pursue in order to get to that result.”
Greece sent the first shipment of humanitarian aid to Gaza on Monday onboard a C-130 military transport aircraft.
The plane was loaded with essential supplies, including food, drinking water, and medicine and will be distributed to unarmed civilians in Gaza.
Greece calls on Israel to ensure “proportional” response in Gaza
Earlier in an interview with Politico’s Power Play podcast, Mitsotakis stressed that Israel has the right to defend itself following the devastating terrorist attack launched by Hamas on October 7 but the level of aggressiveness of its military response should be proportional.
“While we recognize that Israel has the right to defend itself, how it does so actually matters, and it matters considerably,” Mitsotakis told this week.
“As Israel continues with this very, very aggressive military campaign, yes, there will be an increased concern about the proportionality of the Israeli response,” he continued.
“I’m speaking as a friend of Israel,” he added. “And I think that sometimes friends have to speak hard truths to friends.”
His words were echoed by French President Emmanuel Macron who opened the Gaza aid conference with an appeal for Israel to protect civilians as it fights Hamas, saying “all lives have equal worth” and that fighting terrorism “can never be carried out without rules.”
More than 1.5 million people — or about 70% of Gaza’s population — have fled their homes, and an estimated $1.2 billion is needed to respond to the crisis in Palestinian areas.
More than 1,400 people have died in Israel since the start of the war, most of them civilians killed by Hamas militants during their incursion. Israel says 32 of its soldiers have been killed in Gaza since the ground offensive began, and Palestinian militants have continued to fire rockets into Israel on a daily basis.