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U.S. Military Ship Has Set Sail to Help Build Pier Off Gaza for Aid

U.S. Military Ship Has Set Sail to Help Build Pier Off Gaza for Aid

The U.S. military announced on Sunday that a ship had departed, laden with equipment to construct a floating pier along Gaza's coastline. This initiative, part of the Biden administration's strategy to provide aid to the enclave via sea routes, aims to alleviate its hunger crisis.

The administration's proposal for a pier and causeway, unveiled last week, holds the potential to deliver up to two million meals daily to Gaza's residents. However, the Pentagon cautioned that the project's completion would require several weeks, prompting criticism from humanitarian officials who argue that aid distribution via trucks is more efficient.

The U.S. military confirmed on Sunday that the General Frank S. Besson, an Army ship, had embarked on its journey from a base near Norfolk, Va., a day earlier.

"Carrying essential equipment, Besson, a logistics support vessel, is en route to establish a temporary pier for delivering vital humanitarian supplies," the military stated in a social media post.

According to Pentagon statements, the Army's Seventh Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary) will play a key role in constructing the floating pier, with approximately 1,000 American service members dedicated to its completion.

U.S. Military Ship Has Set Sail to Help Build Pier Off Gaza for Aid
U.S. Military Ship Has Set Sail to Help Build Pier Off Gaza for Aid

Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, a spokesman for the Israeli military, announced on Saturday that the Israeli military would assist in coordinating the pier's installation. He added that Israeli troops would inspect shipments before transferring them to aid organizations for distribution.

The U.S. initiative represents the latest effort to augment aid delivery to Gaza, including maritime routes, amidst dire warnings from the United Nations about an impending famine.

Diplomats and officials caution that such endeavors will encounter significant logistical hurdles and incur substantial costs. Aid officials emphasize that trucks remain the most efficient and economical means of delivering food and supplies to Gaza, urging Israel to facilitate more border crossings and ease entry restrictions.

In a separate initiative, Britain, the European Union, and the United Arab Emirates announced their participation in maritime efforts to provide aid to Gaza.

Additionally, on Saturday, World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit organization founded by the renowned Spanish chef José Andrés, announced that it was loading a cargo ship in Cyprus with 200 tons of rice, flour, and proteins. The  U.S. military ship, named Open Arms and owned by a Spanish aid group of the same name, along with the United Arab Emirates, aims to deliver the first sea shipment of food and humanitarian supplies to Gaza.

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