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Gaza’s Maritime Future: US Military Ship to Build Port Infrastructure

Gaza's Maritime Future: US Military Ship to Build Port Infrastructure
The General Frank S Besson is carrying the first load of equipment to build a floating harbour The General Frank S Besson is carrying the first load of equipment to build a floating harbour
Gaza's Maritime Future: US Military Ship to Build Port Infrastructure
The General Frank S Besson is carrying the first load of equipment to build a floating harbour The General Frank S Besson is carrying the first load of equipment to build a floating harbour

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Gaza’s Maritime Future: US Military Ship to Build Port Infrastructure

se in Virginia on Saturday, following President Joe Biden’s announcement that the US would establish a floating harbor to facilitate aid delivery to Gaza by sea. Famine warnings in Gaza have intensified, with the UN stating it is “almost inevitable,” and children are reportedly starving.

The US and Jordan conducted an airdrop on Sunday, delivering over 11,500 meals, including rice, flour, pasta, and canned food. Ground and air deliveries of aid have faced challenges, with the World Food Programme suspending land deliveries due to gunfire and looting incidents. Tragically, reports emerged of five people killed by a falling aid package when its parachute failed to open properly.

The US ship set sail “less than 36 hours” after Biden’s announcement, carrying initial equipment to establish a temporary pier for crucial humanitarian supplies to Gaza, according to US Central Command. The Pentagon estimates it could take up to 60 days to construct the pier with the assistance of 1,000 troops, none of whom would disembark. Charities express concern, emphasizing the urgency of aid for those suffering in Gaza.

Simultaneously, a ship loaded with approximately 200 tonnes of food was expected to depart from a port in Larnaca, Cyprus. However, as of the latest update, Cypriot authorities reported the vessel remaining in port, undergoing repositioning without immediate plans to sail. The EU announced the opening of a new sea route from Cyprus to Gaza over the weekend, allowing aid to sail directly. The ship, Open Arms, is affiliated with the Spanish charity of the same name, with food provided by the US charity World Central Kitchen.

The challenge lies in delivering aid safely to shore before the completion of the US-built pier, as Gaza lacks a functioning port, and its surrounding waters are unsuitable for large vessels. Despite this, Oscar Camps, the founder of Open Arms, mentioned a secret destination where a pier is being constructed to receive the aid. Israel has welcomed this ocean initiative, pledging to conduct security checks in Cyprus before aid delivery in accordance with Israeli standards.

The conflict in Gaza, initiated by Hamas attacks on Israel, has resulted in significant casualties and a growing humanitarian crisis. The UN warns that a quarter of Gaza’s population, approximately 576,000 people, faces catastrophic levels of food insecurity. Western nations have urged Israel to enhance land deliveries and open additional crossings to address the humanitarian crisis. However, challenges persist, especially in the northern regions that have been cut off from assistance, leaving hundreds of thousands of Palestinians with limited access to essential resources.


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