April 17, 2024

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A US military ship sails to help build a dock off Gaza to deliver aid

A US military ship sails to help build a dock off Gaza to deliver aid

The US military said on Sunday that a ship had sailed carrying equipment to build a floating dock on the Gaza coast, as part of the Biden administration's efforts to deliver aid to the Strip by sea and help alleviate the hunger crisis.

The administration's plan to construct a dock and bridge, announced last week, could help deliver up to two million meals a day to Gazans. But the Pentagon said the project would take weeks to complete, and humanitarian officials criticized the plans, saying delivering aid by truck was far more efficient.

The US Army said on Sunday that the Army ship, General Frank S. Bison, had sailed from a base near Norfolk, Virginia, the day before. It is not clear when it will arrive in Gaza.

“The logistics support ship Bison is carrying the first equipment to establish a temporary dock for the delivery of vital humanitarian supplies,” she said in a statement. Posted on social media.

The Pentagon said that one of the main military units involved in building the floating dock will be the Army's 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary), and that about 1,000 US service members will work to complete it.

Admiral Daniel Hagari, a spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces, said the IDF would help coordinate the installation of the pier. He said on Saturday. He added that Israeli forces will inspect the shipments before handing them over to the relief organizations that will distribute them.

The US project is the latest in a series of efforts to deliver more aid to the Strip – including by sea – amid warnings from the United Nations that famine in Gaza is imminent.

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Diplomats and officials said such plans would come with major logistical challenges and a high price tag. Aid officials said trucks were the most efficient and cheapest way to deliver food and supplies to Gaza, and urged Israel to open more border crossings and ease entry restrictions.

Britain, the European Union and the United Arab Emirates said on Friday that they would join a separate maritime initiative to deliver aid to Gaza.

And on Saturday, World Central Kitchena non-profit organization founded by the famous Spanish chef Jose AndresShe said her employees were loading a cargo ship in Cyprus with 200 tons of rice, flour and proteins. She added that the ship is expected to leave the Cypriot city of Larnaca as soon as possible and embark on a 60-hour journey to the Gaza Strip.

The ship, called Open Arms, is owned by a Spanish aid group of the same name and a partner in the initiative along with the United Arab Emirates. They are trying to deliver the first sea shipment of food and humanitarian supplies to Gaza.

Helen Cooper, Jaya Gupta And Aaron Puckerman Contributed to reports.