Photo Credit: CBC News

U.S. implements floating pier to deliver aid to Gaza amid conflict

The United States has taken a significant humanitarian initiative by constructing a floating dock to deliver aid to the Gaza Strip, aiming to alleviate severe shortages of food, water, and medical supplies. Due to ongoing Israeli restrictions and heavy fighting, trucks with vital supplies used this newly built dock to enter Gaza for the first time on Friday. This effort was prompted by the humanitarian crisis following Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel, which killed 1,200 people and captured 250 others. In response, Israel’s offensive has resulted in over 35,000 Palestinian deaths in Gaza, according to local health officials. Before the conflict, around 500 truckloads of aid reached Gaza daily, but this has been significantly disrupted by the violence.

U.S. military leaders plan to increase aid deliveries to potentially 150 truckloads daily. However, land-based aid remains crucial for meeting Gaza’s needs, and the floating dock is not intended to replace these routes. The U.S. Central Command emphasized that this operation is a multinational effort to provide humanitarian aid via a maritime corridor. The success of the operation is uncertain due to the risks of militant attacks, logistical challenges, and a worsening fuel crisis that hinders the distribution of aid within Gaza. Fuel deliveries via land routes have nearly stopped, complicating the transport of aid inside the enclave.

Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh highlighted that discussions about fuel supplies are ongoing in U.S. communications with Israeli officials. The plan involves gradually increasing aid deliveries via the maritime route as logistical issues are resolved. President Joe Biden authorized the $320 million floating dock project to ensure aid reaches those in need despite the difficulties. The initial shipment delivered nearly 500 tons of supplies, and the U.S. has coordinated with Israel to protect the ships and their crews.

Humanitarian groups have expressed concerns about the safety and effectiveness of distributing supplies within Gaza. The precarious security situation has previously resulted in the deaths of aid workers, including a recent incident involving World Central Kitchen. Pentagon officials will continuously monitor security conditions and may temporarily halt the maritime route if necessary. Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, deputy commander of the U.S. military’s Central Command, expressed confidence in the security measures in place.

Aid is collected and inspected in Cyprus before being transported approximately 200 kilometers to the floating dock off Gaza’s coast. Trucks then transfer the supplies to Army boats, which bring them ashore and return to the ships. This complex logistical operation underscores the joint efforts of multiple countries and humanitarian organizations to improve the dire situation in Gaza. 


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