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Israel Sends Aid Ship to Cyprus

An Israeli ship carrying aid has left for Cyprus, in the wake of Monday's fatal explosion at a local naval base.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 7/14/2011, 12:38 AM / Last Update: 7/14/2011, 4:44 AM

IEC

An Israeli ship carrying ten electrical generators, a truck and a crane sailed on Wednesday towards Cyprus. The equipment on the ship will provide aid to the residents of Cyprus, following Monday’s fatal explosion at a naval base in the southern part of the island nation which left eight people dead. In the aftermath of the explosion, many of the island’s residents are without electricity for about three hours each day.

The aid operation was quickly organized after an official request by the government of Cyprus was received Tuesday. The operation is a joint venture by Israel’s Foreign Ministry and the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC), with Israel’s Defense Ministry providing logistical support. A special team of Foreign Office employees was in contact with relevant parties in Cyprus, and at the same time IEC crews took the supplies and loaded them onto a ship.

In addition to the equipment, seven IEC employees have also arrived in Cyprus in order to provide technical assistance in installing the generators and powering them up.

IEC information systems and teleprocessing division manager Zvi Harpak was recently in close contact with the CEO of Cyprus’ electrical company, Stelios Stylianou, who thanked Israel for its assistance.

Israel and Cyprus have traditionally had friendly relations. The government of Cyprus helped Israel during last December’s fire on Mount Carmel by sending firefighting planes to extinguish the flames.

Cyprus was also the first country to officially declare it would not cooperate with efforts by various anti-Israel movements and countries to send flotillas to violate Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza.