The Very First Aid Ship has Set Sail Toward Gaza

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This picture shows Palestinian children in Rafah, located in southern Gaza, getting food. (Image Credit: Fatima Shabair/AP)

After more than five months of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, the Spanish-flagged ship, Open Arms ship left Cyprus on Monday, March 11 for a two-day journey to Gaza with over 200 tons of food, supplies, and other medical aid. Unfortunately, this is not enough to meet the quota of the amount of supplies needed at the minimum to help and contribute to the cause significantly. Only enough food to help 25,000 people was delivered to the Gaza City. The amount was so small that the agency itself stated that to have enough supplies for everyone, ships like the Open Arms carrying supplies would need to be sent out every day. 

Currently, in Gaza, there is no proper port where the ship can properly anchor. This is due to Israel having closed down points that allow people to enter and leave Gaza, the main reason behind additional deaths. When the war itself, and its brutality don’t reach the people, other iterations severely affected people, racking up the death toll due to starvation and dehydration. The supplies are desperately needed, over 25 people passed away due to malnutrition and dehydration in the hospitals. During the Open Arms’ journey to Gaza, the World Central Kitchen (WCK) is working on building an area where the aid can be received and distributed to the people in the strip who desperately need it. While the Israeli claimed that they were not stopping aid from reaching Gaza, there is evidence of trucks with costly supplies that are denied authorized passage, and the people supplying the aid cannot do anything that would cause the latter to change their mind.

Nations all over the world have tried different ways to help, for example, a prominent attempt was when the nations airdropped food and war in northern Gaza. The result of this option was insufficient resources and operations that had a large amount of risk. Moreover, according to the Washington Post, many of the aid parachutes malfunctioned and ended up becoming lethal to several Palestinians because of the aid pellets that were in the parachutes of hope. The main person behind this operation is chef José Andrés, who founded the WCK non-profit organization and put together the Spanish search-and-rescue group, Open Arms. In addition to this bold but necessary operation being done, the World Central Kitchen runs 65 community kitchens in Gaza, where the food is being distributed. This initiative coincided with urgent warnings from U.N. authorities about widespread hunger in Gaza, particularly in the northern region, where Israeli airstrikes have ravaged residential areas and buildings as part of a forceful campaign against the Palestinian militant group Hamas. While this way to deliver supplies was very costly, Andrés shared some insight on interviews on Thursday, March 15th. He said that this was a high-risk operation, saying that they would have to obey if the Israeli denied them. His goal is simple: To increase the flow of food to feed as many Palestinians as possible. In his admission, His main reason for such a costly effort and sending off the ship was because of his hope and fear for the Palestinians, and this was his idea of a last resort due to not being able to wait any longer.

Written by Divya Saha

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