Gaza Receives First Shipment Of Humanitarian Aid Via US-Built Floating Pier

Pier
Image Credits: US Centcom/Twitter

Aid deliveries have started reaching a US-built pier off the Gaza Strip as Israel faces increasing pressure to permit more supplies into the besieged coastal enclave, where it’s currently at war with Hamas and a massive famine looms.

The temporary floating pier was initially pre-assembled at Israel’s port of Ashdod and was moved into place on the shore of Gaza on Thursday.

Gaza, however, lacks its own port infrastructure.

The Pentagon’s Central Command mentioned that zero US troops went ashore.

This is a multinational and ongoing effort to successfully deliver additional aid to Palestine’s civilians.

It will involve aid commodities donated by multiple nations and humanitarian organizations, the command elaborated in a statement.

Following several months of discussions, the UN agreed to support the coordination of aid deliveries and distribution at the floating dock, provided the operation respects the independence and neutrality of humanitarian missions, Farhan Haq, the deputy UN spokesperson, stated on Friday.

The Hamas-headed government media office based in Gaza reportedly accused Washington of trying to enhance its ugly image with the pier.

Ship
Image Credits: US Centcom/Twitter

In connection with the comments by the UN, humanitarian groups and Washington, Hamas mentioned that the US pier was not enough to satisfy the humanitarian requirements and demanded more aid shipments to the enclave by land.

The UN again declared that aid deliveries by land are the most viable, efficient, and effective way to combat the current humanitarian crisis in the enclave of 2.3 million people.

Given Gaza’s urgent needs, the floating dock aims to supplement existing land crossings of aid to Gaza, including Rafah, Erez, and Kerem Shalom.

Haq stated that it isn’t meant to replace crossings.

The aid offloaded at the pier will travel through a maritime corridor via Cyprus, where Israel will first examine it.

Britain mentioned Friday that it delivered the first aid shipment via the pier.

Hamas reported on Friday that they hold the Israeli occupation and the US administration responsible for the deliberate policy related to starvation and the blockade against the unarmed Palestinians in Gaza.

Humanitarian Aid
Image Credits: US Centcom/Twitter

Aid groups, Israel and the UN’s closest allies have demanded that Israel do even more to get the aid delivered to Gaza, which has been laid to waste by the Israeli campaign introduced last year after the Hamas-headed attacks on Israel on October 7.

The pier operation is anticipated to cost about $320 million and involves nearly 1,000 US troops; a US defence official and one source aware of the matter have reported it to Reuters.

A new wave of upheaval has resulted in additional need, as thousands are displaced by the ongoing war and sheltering in Rafah have evacuated to locations in central Gaza in anticipation of a massive Israeli assault.

The UN says that at least 500 trucks of aid and commercial commodities must reach Gaza daily.

In April this year, an average of 189 trucks entered a day — the highest since the war began.

Israel has said that it is bolstering aid efforts, and 365 trucks entered through the Kerem Shalom and Erez crossings on Thursday with flour and fuel.

Hundreds of tents were delivered for individuals evacuated from Rafah to Al-Mawasi, which Israel has declared a humanitarian zone.

Further, Israel started moving supplies via a new point close to the existing Erez crossing in northern Gaza.

However, significant military operations have disrupted the southern crossings of Kerem Shalom and Rafah.

Aid Delivery
Image Credits: US Centcom/Twitter

According to the Egyptian Red Crescent, 1,574 trucks got stuck in Egypt’s Al Arish on Thursday, waiting to get into Gaza via Rafah with food, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported.

The OCHA said on Friday that only limited supplies have entered Gaza since May 6, and they are largely insufficient to address the needs.

Since May 11, 33 trucks transporting food/flour have reached Gaza via Kerem Shalom and 121 via Erez.

On the other hand, 156 reached through West Erez in northern Gaza.

US officials have mentioned that the pier would initially handle 90 trucks per day, but the number can increase to 150 trucks.

To maintain the UN neutrality at the pier, the UN staff won’t have contact with Israel’s military, which is extending security and logistics aid to the operation.

The Israeli military mentioned in a statement that it will continue its efforts to permit humanitarian aid to reach the Gaza Strip by sea, land, and air by international law.

Reference: Reuters

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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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