US-built floating pier for Gaza aid could start operating in the next few days, US and Cyprus say

AP , Monday 13 May 2024

Humanitarian aid could start entering Gaza in the next few days through a long-promised floating pier built by the US military after delays caused by bad weather, according to officials in the US and Cyprus.

US Army Soldiers
File Photo: US Army Soldiers assigned to the 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary) and U.S. Navy sailors attached to the MV Roy P. Benavidez assemble the Roll-On, Roll-Off Distribution Facility (RRDF), or floating pier, to assist in the delivery of humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza, in the Mediterranean Sea April 26, 2024. US Army


Improved sea conditions will allow the US Army to anchor a causeway onto the beach this week, Pentagon deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh said Monday.

The work could be finished Wednesday or Thursday, according to a US official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss details not yet made public.

At a news conference, Cyprus' Foreign Minister Constantinos Kombos said he hopes aid could start flowing into Gaza through the sea corridor this week. “All these issues will be basically resolved in the next few days,” he said.

The plan is for aid ships to travel from the Mediterranean island of Cyprus to the floating pier near Gaza, where the cargo will be loaded into smaller US Army boats that go to the causeway onshore.

Trucks driven by contractors who are not from the US will drive off the Army boats onto the causeway and down to the beach.

The US ship Sagamore is in waters off Gaza, where US officials said it would transfer some 475 pallets of food to another ship until the causeway is in place.

The Gaza Pier project is expected to cost around $320 million. No food has entered the two main land crossings into southern Gaza for the past week, as the Israeli military intensified its bombardment and other operations in Rafah.

Almost the entire population of Gaza relies on humanitarian aid to survive. Israeli restrictions and ongoing fighting have hindered humanitarian efforts, causing widespread hunger and a “full-blown famine” in the north, according to the UN.

Jordan, the United States, and other nations began airdropping aid into Gaza earlier this year, but aid agencies describe that as a costly, last-ditch effort that cannot meet mounting needs.

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