New port in Gaza will allow more humanitarian aid

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WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – In his State of the Union address, President Joe Biden announced a plan for U.S. Army and Navy forces to build a temporary pier on the Gaza coast.

It will allow the U.S. and other countries to deliver shiploads of food, water, medicine and other critical supplies to the more than two million Palestinians caught in the Israel-Hamas war.

“Prevents us from putting boots on the ground in Gaza while at the same time ensuring that we can deliver and distribute aid securely,” said Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder.

Ryder said the emergency mission will require about a thousand troops, mainly from a Virginia base. He said other countries will be responsible for securing and distributing the aid.

“Sixty days from now, this will be up and operating,” Ryder said.

White House Communications Director Ben LaBolt said land missions and air drops will continue, but the new port will more effective.

“Ships can carry so much more humanitarian assistance than trucks,” LaBolt said.

The Pentagon expects the mission to eventually provide two million meals a day to Gaza.

“No one should be able to accept the suffering that we’ve seen,” said House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY.).

Congress has been largely supportive of the announcement, but even Biden administration officials worry about protecting the aid.

“Once within Gaza, the assistance has to be distributed more effectively to people who need it,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Blinken pointed to chaotic distribution efforts, where Palestinians have rushed aid trucks.

Blinken stressed the best solution is a ceasefire.

“The issue is whether Hamas will decide or not to have a ceasefire that would benefit everyone,” he said.

The U.S. was hoping for a deal before Ramadan this weekend, but negotiations are still stalled.

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