U.S. Military Installs Temporary Pier in Gaza for Aid

By John Mercury May 18, 2024

The U.S. military anchored a temporary pier on Gaza’s coast on Thursday, creating a point of entry for humanitarian aid for the enclave, where the flow of supplies through land borders has largely come to a halt since Israel began its incursion into Rafah last week.

The aid will be loaded onto trucks that will begin moving ashore “in the coming days,” the U.S. Central Command said in a statement Thursday morning. U.S. officials had said last week that the floating pier and causeway had been completed, but that weather conditions had delayed their installation.

Israel has long opposed a seaport for Gaza, saying it would pose a security threat. As the humanitarian crisis in the territory has spiraled in recent months, with severe shortages of food, medicine and other basic needs, the U.S. military in March announced a plan to build a temporary pier to enable aid shipments via the Mediterranean Sea.

An American ship loaded with humanitarian aid, the Sagamore, set off for Gaza from Cyprus last week, and the aid was loaded onto a smaller vessel that had been waiting for the pier to be installed. The United Nations will receive the aid and oversee its distribution in Gaza, according to Central Command, which said no U.S. troops would set foot in the territory.

Over the next two days, the U.S. military and humanitarian groups will aim to load three to five trucks from the pier and send them into Gaza as a test of the process laid out by the Pentagon, said General Charles Q. Brown, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“It’ll probably take another 24 hours to make sure everything is set up,” he told reporters on Thursday aboard a flight to Brussels, where he was attending a NATO meeting. “We have our force protection that’s been put in place, we have contract truck drivers on the other side and there’s fuel for those truck drivers as well.”


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