US military begins construction of humanitarian aid pier off Gaza coast

April 26, 2024 by No Comments

confirmed on Thursday that the U.S. military has begun construction of a pier and causeway to distribute humanitarian aid into Gaza amid Israel’s war with Hamas. “As an update for our humanitarian assistance support operations to establish the maritime corridor off the , I can confirm that U.S. military vessels to include the USS Benavidez, have begun to construct the initial stages of the temporary pier and causeway at sea,” spokesman Air Force Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said in a press briefing. He added, “We’ll provide much more information in the very near future as we work alongside the international community to rush aid to the people of Gaza.” Ryder said the pier would likely be up and running by early May, and last month said it would take to complete it. Since the war started last October, tens of thousands of Palestinians have been killed and Gaza’s 2.3 million residents face food, water and medicine shortages. Israel has sent aid trucks across the border and the U.S. has conducted humanitarian aid air drops, but getting aid to the area has been difficult, due to the ongoing hostilities and struggles to coordinate with the Israeli military, which has blocked routes and slowed deliveries due to inspections. The modular causeway system would consist of an offshore platform where ships could deposit aid that would be taken by the Army to a motorized string of steel causeway sections that have been pushed to the shore.Last month, the Pentagon said it could deliver more than 2 million meals a day using the 1,800-foot pier. “Simply put, they’ll establish a temporary offshore maritime pier that allows for shipping vessels to transfer cargo to smaller vessels to transport and offload cargo to a temporary causeway for the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza,” Ryder said in March, while adding, “The concept that is being planned involves the presence of U.S. military personnel on military vessels offshore, but does not require U.S. military personnel to go ashore.”After Ryder confirmed the pier’s construction had begun, the said in a statement it had “approved collaborative efforts for the new Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore (JLOTS) initiative led by the United States Central Command (CENTCOM). The initiative will create an enhanced ship to shore distribution system to increase the flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza.”The statement added, “The IDF will operate to provide security and logistics support for the JLOTS initiative, which includes the establishment of a temporary floating pier to deliver humanitarian aid from the sea into Gaza. The IDF’s involvement in the JLOTS initiative is one of many humanitarian aid efforts, further demonstrating the IDF’s commitment to working with the international community to ensure the continuous entry of humanitarian aid to the civilian population in the Gaza Strip.”