After weeks of intensive discussions and preparations, Israel has given the green light for a humanitarian corridor to transport aid from Cyprus to Gaza.

According to state broadcaster CyBC, a British vessel departed from Larnaca port loaded with 80 tonnes of humanitarian aid on Saturday.

The ship was escorted by UK Royal Navy warships and will transport the aid through Israel.

According to various reports, Cyprus and the UK are expected to issue a joint statement on the matter later on Monday.

The aid from Cyprus, which had been stored in a designated area at the port, was added to the British vessel.

Cyprus received approval following a visit by a delegation of Israeli technocrats last week, who inspected the areas and procedures for controlling and loading humanitarian aid.

Prior to this, two delegations from the Republic had visited Israel, while President Nikos Christodoulides has maintained a line of communication with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and said on Sunday announcements were expected soon.

Later on Monday, European Commission spokesperson Balas Ouzvari has called any attempt, even by third countries, to send humanitarian aid to the Gaza strip a “welcome development”.

He was asked to comment on the British vessel departing Larnaca port.

Ouzvari said that “every effort counts” when asked about the potential involvement of the EU.

He also added that the EU Commission “is in contact with the Cypriot government, but nothing confirmable at this stage”.

“It’s true that we are exploring all means of transporting humanitarian aid to Gaza, not only through conventional channels of aid delivery or financing to humanitarian organisations and partners, but also via a maritime route as well,” Ouzvari said.

“As far as I’m aware, discussions on this matter are ongoing. Now, if a third country, a non-EU country, is able to conduct a humanitarian operation from Cyprus to the Gaza strip, it’s naturally a welcome development,” he added.

Meanwhile, Cypriot pharmaceutical company Medochemie announced on Monday it had sent 10 tonnes worth of medical supplies, such as antibiotics and paediatric medicines, to local medical units in Gaza.

The supplies are due to arrive in the Gaza strip through Egypt and are not on board the vessel that departed from the Larnaca port.

“The value of human life is non-negotiable and Medochemie, the largest pharmaceutical company in Cyprus, could not remain indifferent to the enormous need of our fellow human beings for medicines,” the pharmaceutical company said.