Gaza Strip: First aid supplies reach makeshift landing stage

Gaza Strip: First aid supplies reach makeshift landing stage

A day after the completion of a floating pier built by the US military on the coast of the Gaza Strip, the first deliveries are reaching the war-torn region. 500 tons of relief supplies are expected to arrive in the next few days.

For the first time on Friday morning, trucks carrying relief supplies drove into the Gaza Strip via a makeshift US military pier. No American soldiers went ashore, US Central Command said on X.

It is a multinational operation to deliver aid to the Palestinian civilian population via an exclusively humanitarian maritime corridor, it said. On Thursday, the US military anchored the floating pier on the coast.

Cargo ships can now supply the Gaza Strip

The pier will serve as a hub for the delivery of relief supplies. Around 500 tons of aid supplies are expected to reach the Palestinian territory this way in the next few days.

Until now, there has been no port in the Gaza Strip that is deep enough for larger cargo ships. According to the Pentagon, around 90 truckloads per day will initially reach the Gaza Strip via the port. At a later date, up to 150 truckloads are expected daily.

The temporary arrangement was “necessary due to the absolutely catastrophic conditions in the Gaza Strip,” a representative of the US Agency for Development Cooperation, which is coordinating the deliveries, told journalists on Thursday. The situation of the civilian population in the sealed-off coastal strip has not improved. In recent weeks, a border crossing has been closed and there has been a decline in aid deliveries.

The plan is for freighters to initially bring aid supplies from Cyprus to a floating platform a few kilometers off the coast of the Gaza Strip. The goods are to be loaded onto smaller ships that can sail closer to the coast. The smaller ships then dock with the truckloads at the temporary pier attached to the coast. The aid deliveries from aid organizations will be received and distributed there.

Israel launches offensive in Rafah

“This is a 100% humanitarian mission, and any attack on those involved is an attack on aid to the people of Gaza,” warned Admiral Brad Cooper of the US Central Command.

Last week, despite international criticism, the Israeli army advanced into the city of Rafah in the far south of the Gaza Strip and, among other things, took control of the border crossing in the city. Egypt, on whose border Rafah lies, has since refused to coordinate the delivery of aid with Israel.

The war in the Gaza Strip was triggered by a major Hamas attack on Israel on October 7th. According to Israeli information, 1,170 people were killed and around 250 were taken hostage to the Gaza Strip. In response, Israel has since taken massive military action in the coastal strip. According to the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health, which cannot be independently verified, more than 35,300 people have now been killed.

Source: Stern

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