The humanitarian corridors are nowhere to be seen…
Article by AKEL Political Bureau member
Sunday 19 November 2023, “Haravgi” newspaper
The “humanitarian corridor” is the new phrase that has enriched our vocabulary in recent weeks.
President Christodoulides tells us on the one hand that “all the procedures are progressing and we hope that soon this plan will be put into practice”, on the other hand he tells us that “it is not a question of time, we should not set timetables”.
His Foreign Minister tells us that the effort is continuing, while his Government spokesman talks about short, medium and long-term scenarios, including the creation of a floating platform and a closed port! At the same time, they admit that “the complexity of such an initiative is unprecedented”.
The EU Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, put it more clearly: “The biggest challenge is the dramatically inadequate and precarious access to humanitarian aid.”
For the “humanitarian corridor” to work, a ceasefire is essential. But the government of Nikos Christodoulides, which now appears to be agitating for the “humanitarian corridor”, abstained at the General Assembly of the UN when a resolution calling for an immediate declaration of a humanitarian ceasefire and the unimpeded delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza was being debated! Even though the Government Spokesman belatedly declares “I wish there would be a ceasefire”.
Nicosia’s initiative is viewed as positive, but more theoretical at the moment, as it requires time and infrastructures for its implementation. It is no coincidence that while the European Union is sending emergency aid to Egypt via flights from Italy, Romania, Belgium… the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, says that a maritime humanitarian corridor through Cyprus “is something we are working on…”.
Meanwhile, the number of Palestinians killed by the ongoing Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip has exceeded 12,000 – including more than 5,000 children. Another 3,750 people remain missing, including 1,800 children. Yesterday’s bombing of the al-Fakhoora school operating under the auspices of UNRWA alone is estimated to have killed more than 50 people. Israeli bombing has put 25 hospitals and 52 health centres out of action, and 200 doctors have been killed in the attacks.
What the people of Gaza need immediately is not aid by the drop.
What is needed is to break the vicious cycle of blood and violence.
Humanity has a duty to intervene to end the bloodshed, to save those who are still suffering from the violence, the bombing and the destruction.