dpa international

A freighter and two smaller ships carrying hundreds of tons of aid to the Gaza Strip from Cyprus were proceeding in calm seas without incident, Cypriot government representatives told dpa on Sunday.

Cypriot radio reported that the freighter Jennifer and the tugboats Open Arms and Ledra Dynamic were expected to arrive off the war zone’s coast on Monday afternoon.

Discharging the freight is expected to be problematic. A temporary pier has been erected, and one of the tugboats is towing a platform loaded with relief supplies, with the intention of using it to transfer the supplies to the pier.

There is no suitable port along the Gaza Strip, and the sea is shallow.

This is the second aid delivery by sea from Cyprus. Around a fortnight ago, the tugboat from the aid organization of the same name, Open Arms, brought around 200 tons of material and food to the Gaza Strip.

The non-governmental organization (NGO) World Central Kitchen was responsible for distributing the relief supplies to the people – and that is the plan this time as well.

The government of Cyprus is awaiting completion of a large floating dock off the Gaza Strip coast by mid-April.

“The aim is to send an increasing amount of goods with each of these voyages, but this will only take place once the platform provided by the Americans is complete,” Cypriot Foreign Minister Konstantinos Kombos told national radio after the ships sailed from Larnaca on Saturday.

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