A UK Royal Navy auxiliary landing ship has been loaded with humanitarian aid for Gaza and awaits final approvals for delivery off Cyprus, Foreign Office officials have confirmed.

During a debate in the House of Commons, Foreign Minister Andrew Mitchell was asked about aid to Palestinian civilians.

“We are doing everything we can to get humanitarian support into Gaza, including focusing specifically on any maritime opportunities. The Royal Fleet Auxiliary Lyme Bay is loaded with supplies in Cyprus, and is ready to sail once we can be assured that the support can be received and delivered,” was the Minister’s response.

During a parallel debate at the House of Lords, another Foreign Minister, Lord Benyon, said: “RFA Lyme Bay is off Cyprus, ready to go, and will require, as I said, the agreement of both sides in the conflict for it to make a maritime landing of aid—I cannot say more on that.”

The UK has been examining ways to utilise “maritime humanitarian corridors” into Gaza, as proposed by the Cypriot government.

More than 80 tonnes of British humanitarian aid had been sent to Cyprus, where the UK retains sovereign bases areas.

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