Evacuation Ship Carrying U.S Nationals from Israel Arrives in Cyprus

The first set of evacuees from Israel reached Cyprus on Tuesday aboard a US-chartered cruise vessel as the island’s authorities declared its strategy for a twice-a-day ferry link for all those wanting to leave.

Video Credits: Reuters

The 159 evacuees on the Royal Caribbean cruise vessel dubbed the Rhapsody of the Sea comprised elderly individuals, families with tourists, and children.

The vessel, which departed the port of Haifa based in northern Israel, reportedly docked close to 6:15 a.m. in the island’s second city, Limassol. The security was tight with sniffer dogs and armed police.

Julie Fisher, the US ambassador, was at the port to welcome Americans among evacuees.

This is quite a challenging moment for those who are willing to leave Israel. The relevant authorities to assist them and do everything they can do to make this as seamless as possible, Fisher informed the reporters.

She said that the Cypriot government is striving to make a big change for the citizens and, from what has been seen, for citizens of other nations as well.

The cruise vessel, designed to accommodate 2,500 passengers, was initially likely to transport a larger number of evacuees and was scheduled to make four return trips.

President Nikos Christodoulides’ chief spokesperson, Victor Papadopoulos, said on state radio a ferry would be operating every 12 hours between Limassol and Haifa to evacuate foreign nationals hailing from Israel.

Theodoros Gotsis, the spokesperson associated with the foreign ministry, informed the broadcaster that the island was dedicated to aiding in the repatriation of foreign nationals and making sure that necessary arrangements are made for accommodating those in transit.

Cyprus is reportedly being used as a secure transfer zone for foreign nationals who are evacuated from Israel after the Hamas shock 7 October attack that took the lives of over 1,400 in Israel. Most of these individuals were civilians, triggering an all-out major war with the Palestinian Islamist group that rules Gaza.

Not taking into consideration Tuesday’s arrivals, almost 625 evacuees have managed to reach Cyprus from Israel, most of whom have since been repatriated.

References: Reuters, France24, Times of India

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About Author

Marine Insight News Network is a premier source for up-to-date, comprehensive, and insightful coverage of the maritime industry. Dedicated to offering the latest news, trends, and analyses in shipping, marine technology, regulations, and global maritime affairs, Marine Insight News Network prides itself on delivering accurate, engaging, and relevant information.

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