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Gaza floating pier: US military begins delivering aid via temporary pier

Gaza floating pier: US military begins delivering aid via temporary pier

 


CNN-

Trucks carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza began disembarking after arriving via the floating dock built by the US military, according to US Central Command (CENTCOM).

The pier was anchored on a Gaza beach on Thursday and will be used to ferry aid from various countries to the besieged strip, as most border crossings to the enclave are closed and a catastrophic humanitarian disaster unfolds. 'interior.

No American troops have landed in Gaza, according to CENTCOM.

The goal is to deliver approximately 500 tons of humanitarian aid to Gaza via the pier daily, according to Admiral Brad Cooper, commander of CENTCOM. That means about 90 aid trucks per day, and the goal is to build up to 150 trucks per day.

A ship is expected to unload the aid at the dock on Friday, a U.N. official told CNN, adding that it was unclear whether the process of unloading the aid had begun. The aid will be delivered one day to the north of Gaza and the next to the south.

The maritime corridor comes at a critical time, with the Rafah border crossing to Gaza closed for more than a week, preventing aid from passing through. This crossing was the only one between Gaza and Egypt, with all other border points in the strip controlled by Israel.

Here's what we know about the new aid path:

How was the pier built and how will it work?

The United States began building the floating pier in late April at a cost of $320 million and with the help of a thousand American soldiers and sailors. The United States said this was only a temporary measure and entirely humanitarian in nature.

The pier pieces were loaded aboard ships on the U.S. East Coast and then transported 6,000 miles across the ocean, according to CENTCOM's Cooper. The parts were assembled off the coast of Gaza, with final assembly taking place in the Israeli port of Ashdod.

Aid delivered via the jetty will pass through several stages before reaching Gaza. It will arrive in Cyprus by air or sea where it will be screened by the United States and Israel and palletized before being transported by boat to a floating platform near the Gaza coast. Then it is finally transported to the floating jetty and loaded onto trucks for distribution on land.

The United States said the dock was not intended to replace aid entering through land crossings, which aid workers say are the quickest and easiest way to get aid across the border. the territory.

This sea route is complementary and not intended to replace land routes to Gaza, Cooper said.

The United Nations World Food Program will be responsible for receiving and distributing aid to Gaza.

Most land crossings into Gaza remain either closed or congested due to Israel's lengthy inspections. That led the United States and other countries to begin dropping air aid into Gaza, which human rights organizations have criticized as insufficient.

The UN has warned of famine taking hold in parts of Gaza, calling on Israel to open more land crossings for aid. USAID Administrator Samantha Power, the top U.S. humanitarian official, also said it was credible that famine was already raging in parts of Gaza.

In March, the first batch of humanitarian aid by sea was delivered in a separate operation from the US pier project.

Today, only the Israeli-controlled Kerem Shalom crossing and the western Erez crossing in northern Gaza are open, even though the amount of aid passing there is nowhere near what it is. what Gaza needs.

The UN World Food Program says, however, that since May 6, when Israel launched its Rafah operation, the organization has been unable to access or receive aid at the Kerem Shalom crossing. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) said the crossing was closed between May 6 and 10.

The Rafah crossing with Egypt, the entry point for almost a quarter of all aid to Gaza, was also closed last week after Israel seized it as part of a ground offensive on the city, and has not yet reopened.

The US State Department said there were not enough trucks entering Gaza.

The UN estimates that 500 trucks are needed per day to ease the suffering of Gazans, but on May 11, UN figures showed that only six trucks were entering. No data is available after this date.

Israel, however, said Friday that aid was arriving in Gaza by land, sea and air and via multiple routes.

The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the Israeli body that coordinates the flow of aid to the Gaza Strip, said 365 trucks were transferred to Gaza on Thursday.

The UN OCHA said Thursday that crossing points into Gaza have been closed, are unsafe to access or are not logistically viable.

Aid distribution is almost impossible in the absence of regular fuel imports, unstable telecommunications and ongoing fighting, OCHA said on X. The impact is devastating for more than 2 million people.

Sources

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2/ https://www.cnn.com/2024/05/17/middleeast/gaza-floating-pier-aid-trucks-intl-hnk/index.html

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