UNRWA: There is no alternative to land crossings, and there is no international will to introduce it

The spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), Kazem Abu Khalaf, stated that land crossings are the way to facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip, but there is no international will to introduce it. This comes after the announcement of a relief ship from Cyprus heading to try a new maritime passage for aid delivery.

Follow-ups – Al-Khabar Al-Yemeni:

Abu Khalaf pointed out that the situation in the Gaza Strip is tragic and painful, emphasizing that the route for aid entry is clear, but there is no international will to introduce it through land.

The Washington Post quoted Juliet Touma, the UNRWA’s communications director, as saying that there are “easier, faster, and safer ways than delivering aid by air and sea to meet people’s needs,” emphasizing the need to increase the number of aid trucks crossing between settlements and the Gaza Strip.

On the other hand, Kate Phillips-Paroso, an official at Mercy Corps, stated that air drops and maritime delivery should be the last resort when all other means of delivering aid are impossible.

He pointed out that air drops and maritime delivery are costly and potentially dangerous, and they cannot match the volume of aid that can be delivered via land routes.

Spanish authorities announced the departure of a relief ship from the port of Larnaca in Cyprus towards the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, in a first attempt to establish a new maritime corridor for delivering relief supplies to the people of the Strip, who are facing war and famine. Humanitarian organizations have expressed doubts about the feasibility of this route, coinciding with restrictions on aid through land routes.

Laura Lanuza, spokeswoman for Open Arms, stated that the organization’s ship carrying 200 tons of food aid set sail at around 6:50 GMT on Tuesday morning.

The spokeswoman had previously mentioned that Zionist entities inspected the ship’s cargo last Saturday, and it was scheduled to depart on Sunday to inaugurate this maritime passage, which will be managed by the US and the European Union, but it was delayed.

The charitable organization World Central Kitchen, based in the US, is responsible for organizing the mission, with the UAE providing the majority of the funding, while the Spanish charitable organization Proactiva Open Arms is responsible for supplying the ship.

Due to the lack of infrastructure for a port in Gaza, World Central Kitchen stated that it will construct a dock using materials from demolished buildings and rubble for the ship to dock. The organization also indicated that it has collected another 500 tons of aid in Cyprus to be sent in a subsequent batch.

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