April 14, 2024

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Biden announces an “emergency” US military mission to build a pier off the coast of Gaza to deliver aid

Biden announces an “emergency” US military mission to build a pier off the coast of Gaza to deliver aid

An official said the station would receive “large ships carrying food, water and medicine.”

During his State of the Union address on Thursday evening, President Joe Biden announced an “emergency” military mission to build a port on the Mediterranean Sea on the coast of Gaza to bring in humanitarian aid.

“I have directed the US military to lead an emergency mission to establish a temporary dock in the Mediterranean Sea on the coast of Gaza that can receive large ships carrying food, water, medicine, and temporary shelters,” Biden said in his address to Congress from Congress. US Capitol

“There will be no American forces on the ground,” he said. “This temporary dock would enable a massive increase in the amount of humanitarian aid arriving in Gaza every day. But Israel must also do its part.”

Biden continued, saying: “Israel must allow more aid into Gaza and ensure that humanitarian workers are not caught in the crossfire.”

Administration officials previewed the planned port earlier Thursday and said it would be able to handle “large ships carrying food, water, medicine and temporary shelters,” in the words of a senior aide.

A key feature of the port will be a temporary dock that “will provide the capacity to accommodate hundreds of additional trucks of aid each day,” a senior defense official said.

These efforts will be led by the United States and partner countries, and planning and implementation will take “several weeks,” a senior defense official said. The official said that the forces needed to complete the mission are already in the area or will head there soon.

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A senior defense official said that the operation would not require the presence of US forces on the ground. Pressed later, a senior White House official said the US military has “unique capabilities” and “can do things from abroad that is extraordinary.”

The defense official said that initial shipments of aid would arrive through the port via Cyprus.

This official told reporters that the United States continues to pressure Israel to allow more aid into Gaza by land, saying this is the “most efficient and cost-effective” option.

“But we decided, and the president instructed, to consider all options so that we do not wait for the Israelis and that we follow every possible channel to deliver aid to Gaza,” the official said.

The defense official stressed that obtaining a temporary ceasefire agreement is the best way to obtain aid.

The senior White House official said: “There is no hard and fast deadline for these negotiations” when asked about reaching an agreement before Ramadan.

“But obviously we realize that extremists may try to exploit the month of Ramadan to stir up something that may be very unfortunate in this holy month, and we want to make sure that we have a peaceful period so that people can worship and obviously we are working on that through the process,” the White House official said. The Israelis are with the Palestinian Authority, with the Jordanians and others.”

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A senior defense official said the United States has provided more than $180 million in aid to Gaza since the war began on October 7.

“But the reality is that we know that the aid flowing into Gaza is nowhere near fast enough,” the defense official said. He added, “The President will make clear again this evening that we all need to do more and that the United States is doing more, and we seek to use every possible channel to deliver additional aid to Gaza.”

The defense official said that Israel has worked in recent days to establish a third land crossing into Gaza, “which will allow aid to flow directly to residents in northern Gaza who are in dire need of assistance.” The official added that the United States expects the first delivery through this corridor to take place next week.

The Pentagon official also said that the United States carried out its third airdrop of aid into Gaza on Thursday morning. The official added that the three drops included 192 packages, totaling about 113,000 meals.