Around 330 tonnes of aid were shipped to Gaza from Larnaca port on Saturday afternoon, slated to arrive early next week.

Foreign Minister Constantinos Kombos said the green light to set sail came at 5pm local time though Reuters images showed the vessels at sea a few hours before.

The 332 tonnes of aid will be taken to Gaza on a cargo ship and a barge towed by a salvage vessel, along with a tugboat carrying a support team in a journey which will take about 60 hours.

Kombos specified the duration of the trip is expected to take exactly as long as the first one.

Preparations for the next shipment are already underway, he stressed.

Asked when the floating platform constructed off Gaza’s shore may be completed, Kombos said it could be ready sooner than initially anticipated.

This is the second aid shipment utilising Cyprus’ maritime corridor ‘Amalthea’ to Gaza. NGO World Central Kitchen is supporting the operation.

The Spanish charity run Open Arms, the ship that participated in the first shipment on March 11, is now accompanied by cargo ship Jennifer, support vessel Lydra Dynamic, and floating platform ARES.


The crane to help with the unloading of the aid

Government sources told the Cyprus Mail the Jennifer aid ship was carrying 237 tonnes of aid in 282 pallets. It also includes a crane to unload the shipment which includes sugar, flour, pasta, canned food and milk.

ARES is being towed by Open Arms and contains 95 tonnes of aid in 109 packages.

The journey is expected to take 65 hours to get to Gaza, while a temporary jetty has been set up to help unload the aid.

Earlier in the day, deputy government spokesman Yiannis Antoniou specified the cargo had already been inspected by authorities of the Republic, and necessary inspections had been carried out by the Israelis.

“Generally, inspections have been conducted within the framework of the agreement reached with all involved parties,” he said.

the jennifer with the floating platform

The Jennifer with the floating platform

He added Cyprus would proceed with the full implementation of the ‘Amalthea’ plan, to ship aid from Cyprus to Gaza via a maritime corridor.

NGO World Central Kitchen posted on X that the second maritime aid shipment set sail from Cyprus to Gaza “with hundreds of tons of food and machinery to expedite offloading”.

Aid includes shelf stable and ready-to-eat food, as well as a special delivery of dates provided by the UAE for Palestinians observing Ramadan, it added.

US-based charity World Central Kitchen (WCK) arranged the mission with Spain’s Open Arms charity, with financing mainly from the UAE and support from Cypriot authorities.