The humanitarian situation in Gaza is dire, with innocent Palestinian families and children desperate for basic necessities.  That is why today, the European Commission, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, the Republic of Cyprus, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States announce our intent to open a maritime corridor to deliver much-needed additional amounts of humanitarian assistance by sea.

Cyprus’ leadership in establishing the Amalthea Initiative—which outlines a mechanism for securely shipping aid from Cyprus to Gaza via sea—was integral to enabling this joint effort to launch a maritime corridor.  Together, our nations intend to build on this model to deliver significant additional aid by sea, working in coordination with UN Senior Humanitarian and Reconstruction Coordinator for Gaza Sigrid Kaag — who is charged with facilitating, coordinating, monitoring, and verifying the flow of aid into Gaza under UN Security Council Resolution 2720.  The dedicated efforts of the UAE to mobilize support for the Initiative will result in the initial shipment of food by sea to the people of Gaza. 

Cyprus will soon convene senior officials to discuss how we can accelerate this maritime channel supporting those in need, supplementing land and air routes, including from Egypt and Jordan.  The United States announced an emergency mission led by the U.S. military to establish a temporary pier in Gaza, in coordination with humanitarian partners and other countries, to enable the delivery of significant quantities of assistance by sea. These efforts will be closely coordinated with the Government of Israel.  

The delivery of humanitarian assistance directly to Gaza by sea will be complex, and our nations will continue to assess and adjust our efforts to ensure we deliver aid as effectively as possible.  This maritime corridor can—and must—be part of a sustained effort to increase the flow of humanitarian aid and commercial commodities into Gaza through all possible routes.  We will continue to work with Israel to expand deliveries by land, insisting that it facilitate more routes and open additional crossings to get more aid to more people.  We affirm that protecting civilian lives is a key element of international humanitarian law that must be respected. And together, we must all do more to ensure aid gets to people who desperately need it.


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