Turkish Red Crescent's largest aid shipment: A beacon of hope for Gaza

The Turkish Red Crescent is dispatching its largest aid shipment to Gaza through Egypt, with a vessel carrying around 3,000 tons of food, medicine, and equipment set to depart for the Egyptian port of Al-Arish on Thursday.

Publication: 07.03.2024 - 15:38
Turkish Red Crescent's largest aid shipment: A beacon of hope for Gaza
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Amidst harsh criticism of Israel's military actions in Gaza and advocating for legal action against it for genocide at the World Court, Turkey has been vocal about its call for a ceasefire, especially with the onset of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan this Sunday.

Turkey's ambassador to Cairo, Salih Mutlu Sen, highlighted on social media platform X the significance of the aid, facilitated by the Egyptian Red Crescent, as a beacon of hope for Palestinians on the eve of Ramadan. Kizilay's head, Fatma Meric Yilmaz, in an interview with CNN Turk, mentioned that the ship would undertake two voyages to Egypt for the aid delivery, amassed largely through donations.

The assistance, including flour, hygiene products, ready-to-eat meals, ambulances, and portable kitchens, will be transported via approximately 200 trucks to Gaza's border town of Rafah, providing relief to over one million refugees. Yilmaz added, "We have nearly enough contributions to load a second ship, which we plan to dispatch around the 26th of March, mid-Ramadan."

Turkey, differing from its Western allies and some Gulf countries, does not classify the Palestinian group Hamas, governing Gaza, as a terrorist organization. The current Israeli military offensive, now in its fifth month, was triggered by a Hamas attack on southern Israel on October 7.

The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is most acute in the northern part of the enclave, isolated from aid agencies and media coverage. Large areas are deprived of food, and aid supplies to the rest of Gaza have been significantly reduced over the past month.

While the United States, the Netherlands, France, and other nations have initiated air drops of aid into Gaza, Turkey has so far opted not to participate in air drops. A Turkish defense ministry official stated on Thursday that Turkey would continue its air aid efforts for Gaza through Egypt and Jordan, aligning with ongoing needs and requests.

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