US Military Ship to Head to Gaza for Port Construction


A United States military vessel is en route to the Middle East, carrying equipment intended to construct a temporary pier off the coast of Gaza, according to military officials.

Departing from a military base in Virginia on Saturday, the support ship, General Frank S Besson, is responding to President Joe Biden’s announcement that the US would establish the floating harbor to facilitate aid delivery to Gaza via sea.

The United Nations has issued warnings of an impending famine in the Gaza Strip, with reports of children succumbing to starvation.

US Military Ship to Gaza (Credits: Bloomberg)

In a coordinated effort with Jordan, the US military conducted an airdrop on Sunday, delivering over 11,500 meals comprising essential supplies such as rice, flour, pasta, and canned food.

Aid deliveries to Gaza have been hampered by perilous conditions, with the World Food Programme suspending land deliveries due to gunfire and looting targeting its convoys.

Tragically, on Friday, reports emerged of five fatalities resulting from a mishap during an aid package airdrop, as the parachute failed to deploy correctly.

The US vessel embarked on its mission less than 36 hours following President Biden’s announcement, with a mission to establish a temporary pier to facilitate the delivery of crucial humanitarian aid to Gaza.

The Pentagon has projected a timeline of up to 60 days for the construction of the pier, with the assistance of 1,000 troops, none of whom would disembark ashore.

However, charitable organizations have emphasized the urgent need for aid, indicating that Gaza’s population cannot endure the prolonged wait.

Simultaneously, reports suggest that an aid ship loaded with approximately 200 tonnes of food is poised to depart from a port in Larnaca, Cyprus, during Sunday afternoon.

This initiative follows the European Union’s announcement of opening a new sea route to enable direct aid shipments from Cyprus, the nearest EU nation to Gaza.

Despite the absence of a functioning port in Gaza and the shallow waters surrounding it, Oscar Camps, founder of Open Arms, revealed plans for aid reception at a undisclosed destination, where a pier is being constructed by the World Central Kitchen team.

US Military Ship to Gaza (Credits: gCaptain)

Israel has expressed support for the maritime aid initiative, with assurances that aid deliveries will be permitted following security checks in Cyprus, conducted in accordance with Israeli standards.

The humanitarian efforts come amid heightened tensions following Israel’s military campaign in the Gaza Strip, triggered by attacks from Hamas in October.

The conflict has resulted in significant casualties and exacerbated an already dire humanitarian crisis, prompting calls from Western nations for increased aid access.

While land deliveries through the Rafah and Kerem Shalom crossings have provided some relief, the situation remains dire, particularly in Gaza’s northern regions, where approximately 300,000 Palestinians face severe shortages of food and clean water.

Accusations against Israel of obstructing aid efforts have been met with strong denials, with a UN expert alleging a “starvation campaign” against Gaza’s populace. Israel’s response has been adamant in rejecting such claims, asserting its commitment to humanitarian principles.

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