March 18, 2024 | Flash Brief

Humanitarian Aid Arrives in Gaza Via New Maritime Corridor

March 18, 2024 | Flash Brief

Humanitarian Aid Arrives in Gaza Via New Maritime Corridor

Latest Developments

A ship carrying 200 tons of humanitarian aid reached northern Gaza on March 15 through a newly established humanitarian maritime corridor. The ship Open Arms carried food, water, and other supplies from the southeastern city of Larnaca in Cyprus. The shipment was facilitated “in accordance with” the Jewish state, said Israel’s Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) agency, and in partnership with the World Central Kitchen and the United Arab Emirates. The European Commission, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, the Republic of Cyprus, the United Kingdom, and the United States support the maritime aid corridor.

Israeli officials inspected the shipment before it departed. In Gaza, teams offloaded cargo onto a temporary jetty under the protection of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Twelve World Central Kitchen trucks are distributing the aid across northern Gaza. A second boat is ready to ship 240 tons of aid and logistical equipment. Partner states seek to increase the volume of aid shipped through the corridor.

Expert Analysis

“Israel is now facilitating aid deliveries by land, air, and sea while the Hamas disinformation machine casts Israel as a roadblock to assistance. Israel’s actions remind us that any and all civilian suffering is because of Hamas, and the sooner Israel dismantles the terror group’s remaining strongholds, the better for the future of Gaza.” — Richard Goldberg, FDD Senior Advisor

“Israel has taken unprecedented measures to minimize civilian casualties, from targeted evacuations and humanitarian pauses to facilitating the entry of hundreds of thousands of tons of aid, coordinating several field hospitals, and opening its airspace for dozens of airdrops. Meanwhile, Hamas continues to cowardly hide behind civilians and hold Israelis hostages using both as human shields while firing at Israeli civilians from humanitarian zones, schools, and mosques.” Enia Krivine, Senior Director of FDD’s Israel Program and National Security Network

U.S. Notes Improvement in Land-Based Aid Distribution to Gaza

On March 13, IDF spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said that Israel is “trying to flood the area, to flood it with humanitarian aid,” referring to Gaza. That day, Israel announced that six aid trucks carrying World Food Programme aid reached northern Gaza. Since October 7 and as of March 17, Israel has facilitated the transportation of 17,425 trucks carrying 323,910 tons of humanitarian aid into Gaza, according to COGAT.

On March 11, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller noted the recent “modest improvements in the humanitarian situation and the distribution of aid” in Gaza. For example, aid trucks can “move around the southern part of Gaza with more freedom than they were able to do, say, a week or 10 days ago,” he said. He also noted that Israel agreed to open additional crossings for aid to enter Gaza.

Israel Rejects International Criticism

Israel has rejected complaints from international agencies about the allegedly low volume of aid reaching Gaza, emphasizing that Israel “is not at war with the civilian population in the Gaza Strip.” In a newsletter released on March 15, COGAT stated it anticipated an impending report by “international organizations” presenting a dire picture of the humanitarian situation in Gaza. COGAT warned this report will not reflect Israel’s recent initiatives to improve aid distribution over the past few weeks. “It is outdated even before publication,” COGAT stated.

New Maritime Humanitarian Corridor Opens for Gaza,” FDD Flash Brief

Israel Facilitates Entry of Six Aid Trucks Into Northern Gaza,” FDD Flash Brief

Gaza Airdrop Kills Five, Highlighting Distribution Challenges,” FDD Flash Brief

Airdrops increase in Gaza as new method to deliver aid,” by Seth J. Frantzman

Israel Facilitates Record Aid to Gaza,” FDD Flash Brief


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