US dispatches aid ship to Gaza

The UN has warned that famine in Gaza is “almost inevitable” and children are starving to death….reports Asian Lite News

The US Army has dispatched a ship to send humanitarian aid to Gaza, Central Command (CENTCOM) said on Sunday, days after President Joe Biden promised to build a temporary pier to supply the besieged enclave.

General Frank S. Besson left Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia “less than 36 hours after President Biden announced the US would provide humanitarian assistance to Gaza by sea,” CENTCOM said in a statement. The logistics support vessel is “carrying the first equipment to establish a temporary pier to deliver vital humanitarian supplies,” it said.

On March 9, 2024, U.S. Army Vessel (USAV) General Frank S. Besson (LSV-1) from the 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary), 3rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command, XVIII Airborne Corps, departed Joint Base Langley-Eustis en route to the Eastern Mediterranean less than 36 hours…— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) March 10, 2024

Biden’s announcement in his State of the Union address on Thursday followed UN warnings of widespread famine among Gaza’s 2.3 million Palestinians five months after Israel launched its offensive in the narrow strip in response to an attack by Hamas militants. Gaza has no port infrastructure. The UN has warned that famine in Gaza is “almost inevitable” and children are starving to death.

UN agencies have said aid deliveries by land and air have proved difficult and dangerous. The World Food Programme had to pause land deliveries after its convoys came under gunfire and looting. There were reports that five people had been killed by a falling aid package when its parachute failed to open properly.

The US initially plans to use Cyprus, which is offering a process for screening cargo that will include Israeli officials, removing the need for security checks in Gaza. Most of Gaza’s people are now internally displaced, with severe bottlenecks in aid deliveries at land border checkpoints. Gaza has been under an Israeli navy blockade since 2007, when Hamas took control of the enclave. There have been few direct sea arrivals since then.

One of the options under consideration is for the military to provide a floating pier called a JLOTS, or Joint Logistics-Over-the-Shore, another U.S. official said on the condition of anonymity to discuss the options before a decision has been made. The large floating pier allows supplies to be delivered without having a fixed port in place, alleviating the need for troops on a shore dock. Ships can sail to the pier, secured by anchors, and dock there.

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