How does the US humanitarian pier in Gaza work?

A humanitarian jetty brought by U.S. forces to the Gaza Strip is currently being assembled and is expected to be ready to receive the first shipments of food and other aid early next month, military officials said. The effort, announced in March, to deliver aid to enclaves through maritime corridors involves an elaborate, multi-step process.

The pier project will involve 1,000 U.S. soldiers and sailors, a senior military official said in a call with the Pentagon and reporters Thursday. Officials said the pier will initially be able to transport about 90 truckloads of aid per day, with plans to eventually increase to 150 truckloads per day at full capacity.

U.S. officials said the pier is intended to supplement, not replace, existing aid transport by land. U.N. data shows land deliveries have increased slightly in recent weeks, but still far from matching the huge demand in the enclave. Dozens of Gazans have died from causes related to malnutrition and dehydration, and the United Nations’ World Food Program said half of Gaza’s population of 2.2 million had died. I’m starving.

Once aid arrives on shore, aid organizations distributing aid within the Gaza Strip will face familiar dangers and obstacles as Israeli shelling continues.


Aid, mainly food, will be procured from countries around the world.

The bulk of the aid is food collected from several countries and transported to the port of Larnaca in Cyprus.

A spokesperson for the US Agency for International Development, which is working closely with the military to coordinate the jetty project, said some of the items transported through the maritime corridor would include nutritious food bars from Dubai. Ta. Food from Kenya aimed at treating severe malnutrition in children. Relief supplies, including hygiene kits, will be sourced from Europe.

Military officials said other countries and organizations would also provide food and funding.


The shipped goods will be inspected in Cyprus under Israeli supervision.

An Israeli representative will be present at Larnaca port as Cypriot authorities inspect the goods, an Israeli official with knowledge of the inspection plan said.

The official said testing standards would be the same as those used for land crossings into Gaza. Aid officials said these checks were exhaustive and sometimes arbitrary.

Disaster relief nonprofit World Central Kitchen has conducted two small-scale maritime corridor experiments in March. The loading, scanning and inspection process for the two vessels each took two to three days, said Juan Camilo Jiménez Garces, the organization’s regional manager. The first ship, partnered with the Spanish non-profit organization Open Arms, carried around 200 tons of aid, while the second carried more than 300 tons.


The boat trip takes at least 15 hours.

The approximately 400-mile journey from Cyprus to Gaza typically takes about 15 hours, or a full day, but can take up to two days depending on the weight of the cargo and the type of vessel. For example, open-arms ships towed cargo on a separate platform rather than carrying it onboard, making the trip in about three days.

Ships may be delayed due to bad weather. That was one of the reasons why World Central Kitchen’s second ship, the Jennifer, was stuck in Larnaca for about two weeks after it was scheduled to set sail.


Aid supplies are shuttled from floating platforms near Gaza to jetties anchored on land.

Gaza has no international port. Israel has blocked its construction for decades. Because the waters near the coast are too shallow for large ships to approach the humanitarian pier directly, the U.S. is also building a floating platform two miles offshore from the coast where vessels laden with aid supplies will first unload their cargo. becomes.

Small Army vessels known as LCUs (short for “Landing Craft Utility”) and LSVs (short for “Logistics Support Vessels”) transport aid supplies in batches from the platform to the pier.

Note: Distances are not to scale.

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At least 14 U.S. warships are involved in building and operating the pier, and some are carrying necessary heavy machinery and equipment, military officials said. U.S. military personnel will use modular units 8 feet wide and 20 to 40 feet long to build piers at sea, which will be dragged to shore by long ferries. It will then be anchored off the coast of northern Gaza by the Israeli military to ensure there are no U.S. military boots on the ground.

Humanitarian aid workers involved in receiving and distributing aid are calling for their involvement with the Israeli military to be kept as limited as possible.


Aid must be transported to Gaza by truck, but distributing it safely remains a challenge.

The U.S. Agency for International Development announced last week that the World Food Program will help distribute aid inside Gaza once it arrives at the Gaza pier.

Trucks coordinated by aid organizations transport the aid from a safe location near the jetty to more than 20 UN warehouses across Gaza, ending up in hundreds of communal kitchens, shelters and small-scale kitchens across the region. transportation of relief supplies to warehouses and other logistics bases.

Most of the distribution points are in southern Gaza, where most of the population has been forced to flee, but demographers estimate that hundreds of thousands of people remain in the northern part of the enclave, where famine is imminent. ing.

There are only a few routes available for logistics trucks because Israeli military road access is limited and Israeli airstrikes have reduced much of the landscape to rubble. As always, convoys will need to closely coordinate their movements with Israeli forces.

Gaza humanitarian road access

Source: United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

Note: Road access is based on a map released by OCHA on April 24th.

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Aid officials stressed that the most efficient way to deliver aid to Gaza remains by land, and feared the jetty would distract from efforts to increase the amount of aid delivered by land. expressed concern.

Previous attempts to reach Gazans have ended in deadly tragedies. Earlier this month, Israel attacked a World Central Kitchen convoy, killing seven aid workers from the organization. Israel has also bombed an aid warehouse on at least one occasion and said the attack was aimed at killing a Hamas commander.

Aid experts say the hunger crisis in the Gaza Strip is man-made, citing the decades-long Israeli and Egyptian-backed blockade of the area, Israel’s near-total siege since October 7, and since then. cites strict restrictions on the entry of aid trucks into the country. The United Nations said Israel’s restriction of aid, destruction of infrastructure and forced displacement of Gazans could amount to the use of starvation as a war tactic.

Israel has pushed back, with its officials accusing U.N. aid agencies of failing to distribute aid effectively. He also said that Hamas, which rules Gaza and is considered a terrorist organization, is systematically extorting aid. U.S. humanitarian envoy David Satterfield said in February that Israel had not provided concrete evidence of theft or misappropriation of aid provided by the United Nations.

Meanwhile, the humanitarian crisis continues to grow more dire. Gaza health officials say scores of Gazans have died seeking aid, including more than 100 who died trying to get food from aid convoys and others who died after trying to get food from aid convoys, while others died after receiving food from airdropped aid that fell into the sea. This includes more than a dozen people who drowned while collecting supplies.

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