There are no indications of a mass influx of Palestinian refugees to Cyprus at present, a source inside the interior ministry said on Monday.

Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) regarding the volatile situation in the region and whether Palestinian arrivals are expected, the source said that, at least for now, the scenario is remote.

In case there will be a mass arrival of Palestinian refugees, the source said the interior ministry will activate the Naukratis plan, aimed at helping individuals seeking protection due to having been forced to leave their homes owing to armed conflict and generalised violence.

“However, if they come without seeking asylum, they will be granted a status of political protection, similar to what was done for Ukrainians,” the source said “This applies to Israelis and Palestinians alike.”

Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Cyprus Emilia Strovolidou echoed his words, saying there is currently no information about the movement of refugees from Gaza to any neighbouring countries.

Strovolidou added that the UNHCR office in Cyprus receives information about the situation on the ground from the primary UN agency dealing with the issue, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

Humanitarian organisations and government services in Cyprus, she said are being examining spaces for potential use in case of refugee arrivals.

“The primary concern of the UNHCR and international organisations is the protection of human lives and the civilian population,” she concluded, echoing the statements made by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in the aftermath of the recent events.

The Cyprus Red Cross is also providing humanitarian assistance to people fleeing the conflict at ports and airports on the island.

According to the vice president of the Cyprus Red Cross Leda Koursouba, the humanitarian aid on arrival to the country is also part of the provisions of the ‘Estia’ plan.

“However, the exact needs in Gaza remain uncertain due to the ongoing hostilities,” she told the CNA.

“The Cyprus Red Cross relies on information from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) operating in the region,” Koursouba said.

“Unfortunately, several IFRC delegates have lost their lives in the conflict, in violation of international humanitarian law.”

Koursouba said that the Cyprus Red Cross is awaiting information from the IFRC to determine the specific needs so that the organisation can appeal for assistance from the international community.

“At present, as part of the ‘Estia’ plan, the Cyprus Red Cross is providing food and essential items to those who have fled the conflict zone. We prioritise immediate needs, with further action pending as the situation evolves,” she said.