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16 June, 2024
 
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U.S. military hails Cyprus cooperation in Gaza aid delivery

Temporary pier construction signals progress in humanitarian efforts

Newsroom / CNA

U.S. military personnel expressed gratitude to Cyprus for its role in facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza via sea. Senior defense and Biden administration officials provided details on Thursday about the construction of a temporary pier off Gaza's coast, set to be completed by early May.

Once operational, the pier will enable the delivery of approximately 90 truckloads of international aid initially, scaling up to 150 truckloads. Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh emphasized that the corridor aims to complement, not replace, overland aid delivery to Gaza.

Acknowledging support from the United Kingdom, a senior U.S. military official highlighted the involvement of the ship RFA Cardigan Bay in the mission. Hundreds of U.S. soldiers and sailors will operate aboard Cardigan Bay, as part of an effort to provide assistance without "U.S. boots on the ground."

Expressing appreciation for Cyprus's cooperation, the official credited the Cypriot government and Chief of Defence, along with other countries briefed on the aid delivery plan. U.S. forces have collaborated with USAID teams in Washington, Cyprus, and Israel to enhance humanitarian assistance flow into Gaza.

The construction milestone follows President Biden's directive for emergency operations, with soldiers and sailors from U.S. military units tasked for deployment. Collaboration with the Israeli Defence Force ensures force protection at sea and coordination for pier reception in Gaza.

Goods transported from Cyprus will primarily utilize civilian vessels, aiming to maximize aid volume. Inspections in Cyprus, agreed upon by Cyprus and Israel, precede aid distribution to Gaza's north, ensuring swift movement of assistance upon arrival. Around 1,000 personnel are involved, with coordination efforts underway between the Department of Defense and USAID to facilitate international assistance staging in Cyprus for maritime delivery.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  USA  |  Gaza  |  humanitarian aid

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