The US Navy completed the installation of a floating pier off the coast of Gaza, with humanitarian aid deliveries to begin “in the coming days,” US Central Command announced.
“Trucks carrying humanitarian assistance are expected to begin moving ashore in the coming days. The United Nations will receive the aid and coordinate its distribution into Gaza,” Centcom said on X, formerly known as Twitter.
The announcement stressed that “no US troops entered Gaza” for the construction or installation of the USD 320 million pier.
The pier is intended to streamline the delivery of humanitarian aid. Ships will bring trucks of food, water, medicine, fuel and other supplies from Cyprus to the pier. The trucks will then drive to the mainland on a causeway connecting the pier to the mainland. The aid will be offloaded at a facility which Israel is building near Gaza City.
The Israeli military is providing security and logistical support.
Initial plans are for 90 trucks to pass through daily. As the pier becomes fully operational, the number is expected to reach 150.
It wasn’t clear which UN agency Centcom was referring to regarding coordination of the aid’s reception and distribution. Israel is bypassing the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in distributing aid and demands the agency be stripped of its authority and defunded.
Israeli intelligence incriminating 12 staffers of their participation, including using UNRWA vehicles and facilities during the massacres was leaked to The New York Times. Afterward, The Wall Street Journal reported that one in 10 UNRWA employees is either an active member of or has ties to Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
The passage of aid deliveries is controversial in Israel.
When Hamas slashed food prices in April, Gaza residents told TPS-IL that the problem wasn’t a lack of food but a shortage of money for families to purchase it.
“Don’t feed Hamas” is a common chant at Israeli demonstrations against humanitarian aid deliveries, and the families of hostages have called on the government to leverage the aid for information, access, and freedom of their captive loved ones.
At least 1,200 people were killed and 240 Israelis and foreigners were taken hostage in Hamas’s attacks on Israeli communities near the Gaza border on October 7. Around 30 of the remaining 133 hostages are believed dead. (ANI/TPS)