US to begin Gaza aid pier construction 'very soon'

AFP , Tuesday 23 Apr 2024

The United States will begin construction "very soon" on a pier to boost deliveries of desperately needed aid to Gaza, the Pentagon said Tuesday.

US Army personnel
In this File photo made available by the Defense Department, Army personnel are seen off the coast of Bowen, Australia, in July. The United States will construct a similar pier off Gaza. US Army


Gaza, a small coastal territory, has been devastated by more than six months of Israeli bombardment and ground operations, leaving the civilian population in need of humanitarian assistance to survive.

"All the necessary vessels are within the Mediterranean region and standing by," Pentagon spokesman Major General Pat Ryder told journalists, referring to the watercraft carrying equipment for the pier project.

"We are positioned to begin construction very soon," Ryder added.

The facility will consist of an offshore platform for the transfer of aid from larger to smaller vessels, and a pier to bring it ashore.

Plans were first announced by US President Joe Biden in early March as Israel held up deliveries of assistance by ground.

US officials have said the effort will not involve "boots on the ground" in Gaza, but American troops will come close to the beleaguered territory as they construct the pier, for which Israeli forces are to provide security on the ground.

* This story was edited by Ahram Online.

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