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Cyprus and UAE condemn Israeli strike that killed 7 aid workers

Cyprus and the United Arab Emirates have condemned the Israeli airstrike in Gaza that killed seven aid workers.

In a joint statement issued on Tuesday, the UAE and Cyprus “expressed their profound condemnation over Israel’s strike on humanitarian aid workers of the World Central Kitchen (WCK), and conveyed their deepest condolences and sympathies to the families of the victims and their countries, and to the management and staff of WCK, as well as their wishes for a speedy recovery for the injured.”

The UAE is mostly funding the sea humanitarian corridor to Gaza, while Cyprus is hosting the base of operations for the US charity WCK mission in its port in Larnaca. The project, known as the Amalthea Initiative, aims to provide urgent humanitarian aid and supplies to avert a famine in northern Gaza.

WCK said it was pausing its operations in the area after the attack. The organization has been active in Gaza since October, bringing food by land routes and also participating in air drops.

Last month, it launched an inaugural sea corridor transporting aid to the enclave from Cyprus.

Three ships loaded with humanitarian aid turned around and headed back to Cyprus on Tuesday, after the airstrike. The had already unloaded some 100 tons of food and medicine, when the operation was suspended and they started their return to the island with a remaining 240 tons of undelivered aid.

“The UAE and Cyprus strongly denounced all acts of violence against humanitarian workers who dedicate their lives to serving those in need, and reiterated that targeting humanitarian aid staff is a flagrant violation of all international treaties that ensure the protection of relief and rescue workers,” the statement reads.