Cyprus: US-built Gaza aid pier to be ready within days

Cyprus: US-built Gaza aid pier to be ready within days
Cyprus: US-built Gaza aid pier to be ready within days

Hello and welcome to the details of Cyprus: US-built Gaza aid pier to be ready within days and now with the details

Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - US forces were expected to complete a floating pier on Gaza’s coast later this week, allowing more aid deliveries into the besieged Palestinian territory, the president of Cyprus said yesterday. — Reuters pic/US Central Command

NICOSIA, May 1 — US forces were expected to complete a floating pier on Gaza’s coast later this week, allowing more aid deliveries into the besieged Palestinian territory, the president of Cyprus said yesterday.

The Mediterranean island nation hopes to be a hub for a “maritime corridor” to ship relief goods to the 2.4 million people of Gaza, who have been under Israeli bombardment and siege since Hamas launched its October 7 attack.

Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides told reporters the United States had informed his government that the floating dock would be ready by Thursday, roughly in line with earlier US timelines.

US President Joe Biden first announced the plan for the temporary pier on March 7. The Pentagon declared construction had started on April 25 and said it was expected to begin operating in early May.

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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who has pledged EU involvement in the aid project, was on Thursday due to visit Cyprus, from where aid vessels have previously made the almost 400-kilometre voyage to Gaza.

Christodoulides said “all necessary preparations are being made” by Cyprus “in cooperation with the United States, the European Union and the United Arab Emirates, for the dispatch of humanitarian aid, once the green light is given by the United States”.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, on a visit to Jordan to highlight humanitarian relief, said he expected the pier to be operational in the next week.

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“We have a maritime corridor that we’ve been working on that, I’d say, about a week from now will be ready to go,” Blinken told reporters.

Blinken said the pier would “significantly increase the assistance” but was not “a substitute” for greater land access.

The Spanish aid group Open Arms chartered the first vessel to arrive in Gaza from Cyprus, but its partner charity World Central Kitchen suspended its operation after the deaths of seven aid workers in an Israeli air strike in early April.

The US pier project will cost at least US$320 million (RM1.53 billion), Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh said this week.

Aid will be taken by commercial vessels to a floating platform off the Gaza coast, then transferred to smaller vessels and brought to the pier for distribution on land.

UN agencies and humanitarian aid groups have warned that sea missions and airdrops of aid are no alternative to far more efficient land deliveries.

Gaza has been devastated by the war which started with Hamas’s October 7 attack on southern Israel that resulted in the deaths of about 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli official figures.

Israel’s retaliatory offensive has killed at least 34,535 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory. — AFP

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