Updated May 1st, 2024 at 00:12 IST

How the US-Built Pier off Gaza Will Help Bring in Humanitarian Aid

The system is expected to be set up at the cost of at least $320 million.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Edited by: Kriti Dhingra
The system is expected to be set up at the cost of at least $320 million. | Image:(U.S. military's Central Command via AP)
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Washington: Nearly two months after US President Joe Biden gave the order, the country's Army and Navy, along with other US allies are are working on building a complex system that will move tons of humanitarian aid into Gaza by sea, Associated Press reported, adding that the troops are assembling a large floating platform several miles off the Gaza coast that will be the launching pad for deliveries.

Here's all you need to know about the ambitious project, which, experts say will rely on a complicated logistical and security plan.

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  • The distribution of aid is expected to begin as early May.
  • The system is expected to be set up at the cost of at least $320 million, AP reported quoting the Pentagon.
 US troops are assembling a large floating platform several miles off the Gaza coast that will be the launching pad for deliveries.

How Will It Work?

  • Humanitarian assistance bound for Gaza through the maritime route will be delivered by air or sea to Cyprus.
  • In bid to address Israel's security concerns that all cargo be inspected, aid will undergo security checks at Larnaca port, AP quoted the Cyprus Foreign Minister Constantinos Kombos as saying.
  • The screening will be strict and comprehensive, including the use of mobile X-ray machines, a Cyprus government official told AP on condition of anonymity. 
  • The process will involve Cypriot customs, Israeli teams, the US and the United Nations Office for Project Services.
  • Once the incoming aid is inspected, it will be loaded onto vessels and taken about 200 miles to the large floating pier being built by the US military off the Gaza coast.

 

The system is expected to be set up at the cost of at least $320 million.

 

  • At the pier, the pallets with aid will be transferred onto trucks that in turn will be loaded onto two types of smaller Army boats — Logistic Support Vessels, or LSVs, and Landing Craft Utility boats, LCUs. The LSVs has the capacity to hold 15 trucks each while the LCUs can carry about five, a US military official told AP.
  • The Army boats will then shuttle the trucks from the pier to a floating causeway, which will be several miles away and anchored into the beach by Israeli Defense Forces.
  • The British Royal Navy support ship RFA Cardigan Bay will provide accommodations for hundreds of US sailors and soldiers working to establish the pier, the AP report said, adding that another contracted ship will also be used for housing.

 

The distribution of aid is expected to begin as early May.

 

  • The small Army boats will sail to the two-lane, 550-meter (1,800-foot) causeway.
  • US vessels will then push the floating causeway into place, shoving it into the shoreline, where the Israeli Defense Forces will be ready to secure it.
  • Trucks loaded with the pallets of aid will drive off the Army boats onto the causeway and down to a secure area on land where they will drop off the aid and immediately turn around and return to the boats. 
  • The trucks will repeat that loop over and over, and they will be confined to that limited route to maintain security. They will be driven by personnel from another country.
US vessels will then push the floating causeway into place, shoving it into the shoreline, where the Israeli Defense Forces will be ready to secure it.

 

Aid groups will collect the supplies for distribution on shore, at a port facility built by the Israelis just southwest of Gaza City. Officials told the Associated Press that they are expecting about 90 truckloads of aid a day initially and that it will quickly grow to about 150 a day.

There will be three zones at the port: one controlled by the Israelis where aid from the pier will be dropped off, another where the aid will be transferred and a third where Palestinian drivers contracted by the UN will wait to pick up the aid before taking it to distribution points.

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Published April 30th, 2024 at 22:01 IST