Italian military plane flies aid to Gaza – Crosetto

An Italian military aircraft carrying humanitarian aid for the Palestinian population in Gaza is due to land in Egypt shortly, Defence Minister Guido Crosetto said on Monday.

The flight has been organised in conjunction with the Italian foreign ministry, the United Nations and the Red Crescent.

The aid will then be transported into Gaza via the southern Rafah border crossing.

In addition, Crosetto said naval vessels have been readied to transport further aid when the security situation allows and that the Italian military was prepared to evacuate civilians on medical grounds if necessary.

“It is necessary to make a clear distinction between Hamas, which is a dangerous terrorist organisation that aims to destroy the State of Israel, and the fate, present and future, of the Palestinian people who are suffering extremely heavy losses,” said the defence minister. “This is why the defence ministry is ready with all its assets to do everything possible to assist the civilian population and, as soon as possible, provide essential items, as well as to evacuate foreign, Israeli and Arab civilians for health reasons if necessary,” said Crosetto.

The minister also reiterated that Italy is working all-out “through the efforts of all government members” to bring about a de-escalation of the Israel-Hamas conflict as soon as possible.

“It would be truly tragic if the current war, starting from Israel’s understandable reaction and consequent military ground counteroffensive, inflamed the Islamic world and triggered a new war between the West and Islam,” concluded Crosetto.