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Vessel carrying aid to U.S.-built pier off Gaza leaves Cyprus

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A vessel carrying aid to a pier built by the U.S. off Gaza set sail from Cyprus on Thursday, marine tracking websites showed.

A person is seen on board as a U.S. flagged cargo vessel carrying aid to a pier built by the U.S. off Gaza sets sail from Larnaca, Cyprus May 9, 2024. Reuters/Yiannis Kourtoglou

A vessel carrying aid to a pier built by the U.S. off Gaza set sail from Cyprus on Thursday, marine tracking websites showed.

The U.S. flagged Sagamore left the port of Larnaca on Thursday morning. U.S. officials have said the vessel will be used to offload supplies onto a floating pier built to expedite aid into the besieged enclave.

There was no immediate comment from Cypriot authorities, which had earlier said the ship would sail as soon as the floating platform was in place, subject to weather conditions.

Israel's military campaign against Hamas, in response to Hamas's attack on Israel on Oct. 7, has devastated the tiny Gaza Strip, where aid agencies warn its 2.3 million people are facing imminent famine.

Cyprus opened a sea corridor in March to ship aid directly to Gaza, where deliveries via land have been severely disrupted by border closures and Israel's military operations.

U.S.-based charity World Food Kitchen used the route twice before seven of its workers were killed in an Israeli air strike on April 1.

Reporting by Michele Kambas and Yiannis Kourtoglou

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