US Will Build Port on Gaza Shore for Large-Scale Aid Delivery

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US forces will build a temporary port on the Gaza shoreline in the next few weeks to allow delivery of humanitarian aid on a large scale, Joe Biden will announce in the State of the Union speech.

“We are not waiting on the Israelis. This is a moment for American leadership,” a senior US official said on Thursday, reflecting growing frustration of what is seen in Washington as Israeli obstruction of road deliveries on a substantial scale.

The port will be built by US military engineers operating from ships off the Gaza coast, who will not need to step ashore, US officials said.

The aid deliveries will be shipped from the port of Larnaca in Cyprus, which will become the main relief hub.

“Tonight, the president will announce in his State of the Union address that he has directed the US military to undertake an emergency mission to establish a port in Gaza, working in partnership with like minded countries and humanitarian partners,” the official said.

“This port, the main feature of which is a temporary pier, will provide the capacity for hundreds of additional truckloads of assistance each day.”

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In his State of the Union speech, Biden will also announce the opening of a new land crossing into the occupied and devastated coastal strip.

Biden has been fiercely criticised within his own party for the failure to open up Gaza to humanitarian aid, with a famine looming and 30,000 Palestinians dead already since the start of war on 7 October.

The Israelis will be able to conduct inspections of the aid shipments in Larnaca, administration officials said.

“We will coordinate with the Israelis on the security requirements on land and work with the UN and humanitarian NGOs on the distribution of assistance within Gaza,” a senior official said.

“Initial shipments will come via Cyprus enabled by the US military and a coalition of partners and allies. This new significant capability will take a number of weeks to plan and execute.

The forces that will be required to complete this mission there are either already in the region or will begin to move there soon.”

The White House said that the operation would not involve boots on the ground, as the port and its temporary pier could be built from off the coast.

“The concept that’s been planned involves the presence of US military personnel on military vessels offshore but does not require US military personnel to go ashore to instal the pier or causeway facility that will will allow the transportation and humanitarian assistance ashore,” a senior official said.

source: amp.theguardian.com/biden-us-port-gaza-aid-delivery

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