First Sea-Borne Aid Reaches Gaza Amid Fears About Security and Malnutrition

The first shipment of aid to reach Gaza by sea in almost two decades was fully unloaded on Saturday on a makeshift jetty in the Mediterranean, marking a milestone in a venture that Western officials hope will ease the enclave’s worsening food deprivation.

The ship, the Open Arms, towed a barge from Cyprus loaded with about 200 tons of rice, flour, lentils and canned tuna, beef and chicken, supplied by the World Central Kitchen charity.

José Andrés, the Spanish American chef who founded the World Central Kitchen, said his team would begin dispatching the food by truck, including to Gaza’s north, an area gripped by lawlessness and badly damaged by Israeli airstrikes.

But the distribution was set to unfold in the shadow of a series of attacks that have killed or wounded Palestinians scrambling for desperately needed food. United Nations aid groups had to largely suspend deliveries in northern Gaza last month, and its human rights office has documented more than two dozen such attacks.

The latest bloodshed took place late Thursday in Gaza City, where at least 20 people died after an aid convoy came under attack. Gazan health officials and the Israeli military traded blame; many details about what had unfolded remained unclear on Saturday.

World Central Kitchen offered few details about its distribution plan, even as it was loading a second supply ship in Cyprus. The Israeli military said in a statement that it had deployed naval and ground forces to secure the area where the supplies were unloaded, though it remained unclear who would handle the distribution.

Back to top button