US will set up temporary port in Gaza to deliver humanitarian aid, Biden to announce during State of the Union address

7 March 2024, 18:05

The US military will set up a temporary port on the Gaza coast to increase the delivery of humanitarian aid, Joe Biden is set to announce during his State of the Union address
The US military will set up a temporary port on the Gaza coast to increase the delivery of humanitarian aid, Joe Biden is set to announce during his State of the Union address. Picture: Alamy

By Christian Oliver

The US military will set up a temporary port on the Gaza coast to increase the delivery of humanitarian aid, Joe Biden is set to announce during his State of the Union address.

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American troops will not be required to be on the ground in Gaza, according to officials, who did not provide any more details on how the pier would be built.

Officials said the US military has "unique capabilities" and troops will be able to deliver the aid from "just offshore".

The temporary port will allow more shipments of food to be delivered to the beleaguered territory, as well as vital medicine and other essential items.

Palestinian children wait to receive food cooked by a charity kitchen amid shortages of food supplies, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, Wednesday
Palestinian children wait to receive food cooked by a charity kitchen amid shortages of food supplies, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, Wednesday. Picture: Alamy

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Five months of fighting between Israel and Hamas have left much of Hamas-run Gaza in ruins and led to a worsening humanitarian catastrophe.

Many Palestinians, especially in the devastated north, are scrambling for food to survive.

Aid groups have said it has become nearly impossible to deliver supplies within most of Gaza because of the difficulty of coordinating with the Israeli military, the ongoing hostilities and the breakdown of public order.

The latest White House move provides one more layer to the extraordinary dynamic that has emerged as the US has had to go around Israel, its main Middle East ally, and find ways to get aid into Gaza, including through airdrops.

A U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules conducts an airdrop of humanitarian assistance over Gaza, Saturday
A U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules conducts an airdrop of humanitarian assistance over Gaza, Saturday. Picture: Alamy

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Mr Biden last week first raised the idea of establishing a "marine corridor", saying the US was working with allies on how it might provide assistance from the sea to those in Gaza.

General Erik Kurilla, head of US Central Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee, that he had briefed officials on such a maritime option.

It comes after the US conducted a third airdrop in the northern part of Gaza on Thursday, where there is no Israeli presence.

Mr Kurilla said Central Command has provided options for increasing the number of trucks taking aid to those areas.

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