First load of aid delivered to Gaza using new sea route as pressure mounts on Israel

The Israeli military says a ship has delivered 200 tons of food, water and humanitarian supplies to Gaza, inaugurating a sea route from Cyprus, ITV News Correspondent John Ray reports

A ship has delivered 200 tons of aid to Gaza with the hopes of alleviating the humanitarian crisis gripping the region.

It is the first time that aid has travelled on this particular route from Cyprus.

Israeli military officials confirmed the aid had been delivered. It comes as news from northern Palestine has become increasingly isolated and hunger hits the region, with many reduced to eating weeds and animal feed.

The ship left Cyprus towing a barge filled with food sent by World Central Kitchen, a charity founded by celebrity chef José Andrés.

The charity has served 32 million meals in Gaza since the war began. The aid includes rice, flour, lentils, beans, tuna and canned meat.

Israel has come under mounting pressure to allow more aid into Gaza, as its war with Hamas enters its fifth month.

The United States has joined other countries in airdropping supplies to the isolated region of northern Gaza and has announced separate plans to construct a pier to get aid in.

Aid groups said the airdrops and sea shipments are far less efficient ways of delivering the massive amounts of aid needed in Gaza.

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The Israel-Hamas war was triggered by Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel that killed 1,200 people and left another 250 taken into Gaza as hostages.

Israel’s offensive in Gaza has killed over 31,000 Palestinians and driven most of Gaza’s 2.3 million people from their homes. The Hamas-led health ministry has stated that at least two-thirds of those who have died are women and children.

A quarter of Gaza’s population is starving, according to the United Nations (UN).

A second vessel being loaded with even more aid will head to Gaza once the aid on the first ship is offloaded and distributed, Cyprus’ Foreign Minister Constantinos Kombos said.

He declined to specify when the second vessel would leave, saying it depends in part on whether the Open Arms delivery goes smoothly.

How has aid been getting into Gaza?

Before the ship delivery, trucks and air drops were the main source of aid making its way into Gaza.

Groups have been calling on Israel to guarantee safe corridors for truck convoys after land deliveries became nearly impossible because of military restrictions, ongoing hostilities and the breakdown of order after the Hamas-run police force largely vanished from the streets.

The daily number of supply trucks entering Gaza since the war began has been far below the 500 that entered before October 7.

A recent airdrop that malfunctioned plummeted from the sky and killed five people.

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