Israeli President to FT: Serious negotiations with Cyprus for aid to Gaza
The Israeli government is discussing with Cyprus a "major effort" to get humanitarian aid by sea to the Gaza Strip, Israeli President Isaac Herzog said in an interview with the Financial Times.
He told the British newspaper that a visit of Cypriot officials to Israel is taking place on Thursday to hold further discussions on the initiative of the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nikos Christodoulides.
Details of humanitarian aid to Gaza being discussed, says PtD. The issues raised by Israel
"(The government of Israel) is in serious negotiations with the Cypriot government," the Israeli President said.
He admitted that the situation in parts of Gaza is very bad, as these are "war zones", but noted that Israel is trying to allow more humanitarian aid.
Regarding the future of the administration in the Gaza Strip after the end of the Israeli operation to eliminate Hamas, President Herzog said that his country should maintain a "very strong force" in the region to prevent its return terrorism.
He estimated that the US and the countries neighboring the region will have some involvement in the post-war order of things in Gaza.
“If we withdraw, then who will take over? We cannot leave a gap," the Israeli President said, referring to "many ideas" that have been proposed.
Asked about Israeli military operations in hospital areas in Gaza, he replied that they were being carried out in a "very cautious manner", and insisted that Israel was trying to protect civilians.
“I care about the deaths of Palestinians. They break my heart," says Isaac Herzog, noting, however, that the top priority is the protection of the Israeli people.
Finally, he blames Hamas for the lack of an agreement regarding the release of the hostages, as he says "we have not received a single piece of information about the hostages, so we have to fight and take them."