Three days after leaving Cyprus for Israel with more than 80 tonnes of humanitarian aid, the RFA Lyme Bay has still not unloaded its cargo. It has not even gone close to the Israeli shores and its whereabout were unknown until a briefing of the UK Parliament on Tuesday by Andrew Mitchell, Minister of State for Development and Africa.

Mitchell told the Commons the British government was doing everything possible for more humanitarian aid to reach Gaza, but the RFA Lyme Bay was currently off Cyprus “ready to sail once we can be assured that the support can be received and delivered.” Another minister, Richard Benyon, told the House of Lords that for the ship to dock, “would require the consent of both sides of the conflict.” Benyon said, “I cannot say anything more than that.”

If only the Cyprus government and President Nikos Christodoulides could learn to show a similar level of restraint when talking about the humanitarian aid sea corridor they have been banging on about for weeks, when on Monday they announced its activation, which strictly speaking was not correct.

Christodoulides has turned the creation of the humanitarian sea corridor from Cyprus to Gaza into a personal cause (he even gave it the name Amalthia) that he publicly campaigned for like a marketing man. It was a commendable initiative but could have been pursued quietly without all the public declarations, and with a sense of perspective.

It did not seem to occur to the president that Cyprus is no position to create a sea corridor as it has no navy. The Lyme Bay would be accompanied by warships of the Royal Navy if it eventually goes to Israel, and Cyprus’ only involvement would have been that the aid was stored on the island. In reality, Cyprus would be a transit point for the humanitarian aid, assuming it will eventually be sent to Gaza by sea and not through the Rafah crossing by road. Aid could be kept in warehouses here and loaded on to ships heading for Israel.

The latter seems to be gaining traction with the Israeli government which has sent technocrats here to discuss how aid would be taken to Israel. On Wednesday Israel’s foreign minister, Eli Cohen, was here to discuss the matter with his Cypriot counterpart Constantinos Kombos and to see how the operation would be carried out. “We want to create a fast-track process for humanitarian aid sent to Gaza,” said Gohen, adding that the maritime humanitarian corridor was being “promoted by Israel with other regional partners”.

How many more meetings and discussions would be needed before aid starts arriving in Israel is anyone’s guess. The Cyprus government has made its contribution to the enterprise, by offering to store and load the humanitarian aid, but now the operation might be out of its hands. This is no bad thing. Cyprus has done what it could and hopefully the unrelenting campaigning will now end.