Preparations were being made on Thursday for a second humanitarian aid ship to set off from Larnaca, with the first 200-tonne batch of items, including food and water, expected to arrive in Gaza by Friday morning.

Foreign ministry spokesman Theodoros Gotsis told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) that procedures have started to prepare the second ship – The Jennifer – so that there can be continuity as soon as possible.

Gotsis commented on Wednesday evening’s video conference between Foreign Minister Constantinos Kombos and his US, UK, Qatar and UAE counterparts, along with UN and EU officials, noting that the government’s continuous diplomatic activity has paid off by spurring on mobilisation among other states as well.

“The important thing is that now there is a framework and common commitment from the foreign ministers of the countries that are supporting the Amalthea plan to increase attempts to provide aid to Gaza,” he said.

He added that next week there will also be a meeting of high-level officials by all interested states and organisations to further plan the Cyprus initiative.

The Jennifer has boarded from Rhodes. She is 80 metres long and flies the Guinea-Bissau flag.

The ship is expected to be loaded with 500 tonnes of items including sugar, flour, spaghetti, canned goods and milk, which arrived at Larnaca airport and were placed in a warehouse at the port of Larnaca.

Earlier, Gotsis told Cybc that the first ship – Open Arms – will arrive on Friday morning, after leaving Cyprus on Tuesday to deliver the first batch of aid.

The ship left Cyprus towing a barge containing flour, rice and protein. The mission was funded mostly by the United Arab Emirates and US-based charity World Central Kitchen.

The arrival is expected to coincide with the arrival of a US ship that will set up a temporary jetty, by means of which the cargo will be brought ashore.

According to sources, scanners were installed in the port of Larnaca, operated by specialised personnel from Israel, who will scan the items before they are packed into pallets.

It was also reported that the Jennifer is expected to depart tomorrow from the port of Larnaca and is estimated to reach Gaza in 36 hours.

Upon the ship’s arrival in Gaza and due to the geomorphology of the seabed, the ship will await the completion of the humanitarian aid unloading carried by Open Arms and the MMS ARIS platform and an unloading operation will be set up from the ship Jennifer in platform and from there the humanitarian aid will be transferred to the coast.

This is because large ships cannot reach the shores of Gaza because the waters are shallow and the infrastructure expected to be built by the United States is not yet ready.