Gerapetritis to Reuters: Greece optimistic over Gaza humanitarian aid, we cannot put up with the situation

Palestinian refugees flee to Rafah, in southern Gaza, after Israeli airstrikes on October 14.

Talks on opening a humanitarian aid corridor into north Gaza could yield results soon, Greece's foreign minister George Gerapetritis said in an interview with Reuters news agency, a day after meeting his Israeli and Palestinian counterparts.

Greece has repeatedly condemned the October 7 attack by Hamas militants against Israel and believes its historical ties with the Arab world give it credibility as an honest broker.

"I am in constant communication with both parties, and I am relatively optimistic that we could have some positive results soon," said the minister, who met Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki in Ramallah and Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen in Jerusalem on Thursday, according to Reuters.

"We cannot put up with the situation in Gaza," he said. "It's the humanitarian moral values that we have to embrace, all of us, and we have to do it immediately."

After the war, he said, governance of Gaza must be "highly legitimised" and opposed to terrorism.

As demands from partners and allies in the wider region start to arrive in Athens, Greece is organizing missions and supplying humanitarian aid to relieve the civilians in the Gaza Strip more actively. Indicatively, a ship capable of offering secondary medical services has been requested from Athens.

Exclusive sources specifically state that a ship is being sought for the purpose of treating and housing a restricted number of patients till they recover.

Rome has taken a leading role at this level, as Italy has already decided to deploy a floating hospital off Gaza. In the absence of a floating hospital, as Greece’s military navy does not have such a specialized ship, if it is decided that it will participate in such a mission under the auspices of the UN and in agreement with the EU, the use of one its general support ships is under consideration.

In terms of ships of this type, Greece can use the HS Prometheus, while in the navy’s fleet there are also smaller ships such as Atlas 1, Aias and Hercules. The Prometheus, due to its size, may undergo minor modifications in order to carry hospital beds and the corresponding medical and nursing staff.

At the same time, a request from Egypt has also arrived at the Foreign Ministry for medical supplies to be transported to the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border crossing.

The hospitals still operating within the Gaza Strip are facing significant shortages and, to this end, the Egyptian government has launched a campaign to find supplies and medicines, while the war situation has turned the hospitals in the area into gathering place for civilians seeking safe haven.

Athens’ proactive stance has been emphasised from the outset, especially considering that the country is physically near the theatre of war and boasts a number of significant pharmaceutical enterprises relative to its size.

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