Israel-Hamas war: First ship unloads Gaza aid

A ship carrying food and other humanitarian aid to Gaza has arrived via the new Cyprus maritime corridor. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will visit Jordan to lobby for more aid

The Open Arms ship carried 200 tons of food to Gaza. (photo: DW)
The Open Arms ship carried 200 tons of food to Gaza. (photo: DW)


A humanitarian ship carrying rice, flour, lentils, beans, tuna and canned meat has arrived in Gaza as the beseiged territory faces a severe food shortage.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will begin a Middle East trip. He will visit Jordan and Israel and meet with the leaders of both countries.

Militant Islamist group Hamas has criticized Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for appointing a new prime minister of the Palestinian Authority.

Scholz to push for more aid for Gaza in Jordan, Israel

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will travel to Jordan on Saturday to meet with King Abdullah II.

He is then set to travel to Israel for talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog on Sunday.

Scholz's office said he will use the trip to push for more aid to be delivered to Gaza and to warn Israel against a ground offensive in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

"Humanitarian efforts must be significantly improved... that is what [Scholz] will make clear in his talks in Israel," a government spokesperson said Friday.

Hamas slams Palestinian Authority over new prime minister

Militant Islamist group Hamas condemned the appointment of a new prime minister of the Palestinian Authority earlier this week.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas appointed his longtime economic adviser Mohammed Mustafa to be prime minister after the government, which controls the West Bank, resigned three weeks earlier.

"Making individual decisions, and engaging in formal steps that are devoid of substance, like forming a new government without national consensus, is a reinforcement of a policy of exclusion and the deepening of division," said Hamas, which controls Gaza.

Hamas is categorized as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, Germany and others.

The statement was also signed by Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine; both groups are also included on the US and EU terror lists. The Palestinian National Initiative political party also signed the condemnation.

Later on Friday, Abbas' Fatah political party hit back, accusing Hamas of "having caused the return of the Israeli occupation of Gaza" by "undertaking the October 7 adventure."

"The real disconnection from reality and the Palestinian people is that of the Hamas leadership," Fatah said in a statement.

Hamas terror attacks on southern Israel killed about 1,200 people and some 240 more were taken hostage.

First aid ship reaches Gaza via new Cyprus corridor

The first ship to use a new humanitarian corridor from Cyprus began unloading aid in Gaza on Friday, the Israeli military said.

The vessel brought 200 tons of food, including rice, flour, lentils, beans, tuna and canned meat, to people in Gaza threatened by starvation.

The ship was operated by Spanish aid group Open Arms, and the food was sent by World Central Kitchen, the charity founded by celebrity chef Jose Andres.

Andres celebrated the arrival of aid to Gaza and said in a post on X, formerly Twitter, that the food would be loaded onto 12 trucks for distribution. He called the initial delivery a test and said, "We could bring thousands of tons a week."
The Israeli military said the "vessel underwent a comprehensive security inspection" and added that it had deployed troops to "secure the area."

According to the United Nations, before the current conflict started following Hamas' terror attacks in southern Israel on October 7, about 500 trucks crossed into Gaza with food and other goods each day.

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