Israel Offers to Ease Naval Blockade on Gaza with Proposed Sea Corridor from Cyprus

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Israel is ready to allow ships to deliver aid to the war-torn Gaza Strip immediately, as part of a proposed sea corridor from Cyprus, according to the Israeli foreign minister. The plan involves four European nations, including Greece, potentially participating in this initiative.

As per the proposal put forward by Nicosia in November, the cargo would undergo security inspections at the Cypriot port of Larnaca. From there, it would be transported to the Gaza coast, a distance of 370 km (230 miles), rather than going through Egypt or Israel.

If implemented, this plan would be the first relaxation of the Israeli naval blockade imposed on Gaza in 2007, after Hamas militants took control of the Palestinian enclave.

Israel sees this sea corridor as a way to sever its civilian ties with Gaza, where it has been conducting a 12-week offensive in response to a cross-border killing.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has also backed the Cypriot plan, which would involve Israeli security agents taking part in the Larnaca inspections.

"As of now there is a maritime blockade, and if such an (aid) ship comes from Larnaca, it will be with our approval," Cohen said. "It will of course be a secured corridor, as we have no intention of endangering a British or French ship coming in coordination with us."

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