Gaza aid pier to cost US at least $320 mln: Pentagon

AFP , Monday 29 Apr 2024

The temporary pier being constructed by the US military to boost aid deliveries to Gaza will cost Washington at least $320 million, the Pentagon said Monday.

Gaza aid pier
A US Army vessel assisting in the construction of a floating Gaza aid pier.AFP

 

"That's about our rough estimate right now, approximately $320 million," Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh told journalists, adding: "That's an initial cost for the temporary pier."

The Pentagon announced Thursday that construction of the pier had begun, saying it should be operational in early May.

At that point, aid will be transported via commercial vessels to a floating platform miles off the Gaza coast, where it will be transferred to smaller vessels, brought to the pier, and taken to land by truck for distribution.

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

The humanitarian situation in Gaza, which has been devastated by more than six months of Israeli military operations, remains dire, with a senior US administration official saying last week that the territory's entire population of 2.2 million people is facing food insecurity.

Since Oct.7, Israel's military campaign on the Gaza Strip has killed at least 34,488 people and wounded more than 75,000, 70% of them women and children, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

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