EL-ARISH: The 9M-WCA cargo aircraft carrying the first phase of the initial humanitarian aid to be sent to Palestine through the operation codenamed ‘Ops Ihsan’ landed safely at the El-Arish Military Airport, here today.
Specially chartered by the Malaysian Government, the aircraft took off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport yesterday, and arrived here at about 8.50 am (2.50 pm Malaysian time).
In the 7,688-km journey that took 15 hours, the plane first landed at the Chennai International Airport, India, and then at the Sharjah International Airport (United Arab Emirates) before arriving here.
The aid, comprising 20 tonnes of medical supplies, baby items and food was handed over to representatives of the Egyptian Red Crescent Society to be brought into Gaza through the Rafah border crossing.
The El-Arish Military Airport, located in the North Sinai governorate, is located about 50km from the Rafah border.
The aid was first scheduled to land at the El-Arish International Airport, but since the airport had ceased operating last year, the Ops Ihsan team was directed to land at the military airport.
It is understood that once the aid passes the Rafah border it will be handed over to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society at the Nitzana border for distribution.
Ops Ihsan is an initiative launched by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs together with 45 non-governmental organisations (NGOs), including Global Peace Mission Malaysia, Mercy Malaysia, BeVital, MyAqsa Defenders, Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (ABIM), Aman Palestine, Persatuan Wadah Pencerdasan Umat Malaysia (WADAH), Cinta Gaza Malaysia and the Malaysian Relief Agency (MRA).
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi witnessed the sending-off of the aid in a ceremony yesterday which was also attended by Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir and mission heads.
A second flight to deliver another 20 tonnes of aid is scheduled to take off on Nov 10.
The recent clashes in Palestine involving Hamas, the ruling authority in Gaza, and the Israeli regime have resulted in the loss of thousands of lives on both sides since Oct 7.-Bernama