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US-built floating pier begins moving from Ashdod port to Gaza, defense official says

US Central Command

The Roll-On, Roll-Off distribution facility, or floating pier, is pulled by an army tugboat during Operation Neptune Solace off the coast of Gaza May 1, 2024. The temporary pier will help the Agency United States International Development Agency to deliver humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza.



CNN

The floating pier that will allow humanitarian aid to arrive in Gaza from the sea is moving from the port of Ashdod to Gaza, according to a US defense official.

In addition, military ships that will build the pier and attach it to the beach are also heading to Gaza, the official said.

Security concerns and sea conditions delayed the movement of the pier for several days, but on Tuesday, Pentagon press secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said the pier should be operational “in the next few days.” days “. The Ashdod port is approximately 30 miles from the Gaza distribution site where goods will be unloaded from the causeway, meaning components of the system should be in place soon.

The Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore (JLOTS) system consists of two parts: the floating jetty where shipments will be unloaded and the causeway to transfer shipments to the distribution point in Gaza.

On Wednesday, the United Kingdom announced that its first delivery of humanitarian aid, including 8,400 temporary shelters, was on its way from Cyprus to Gaza. Cyprus is the staging point for humanitarian aid which will be transported to Gaza via the sea corridor and the jetty.

“Aid will be distributed to Gaza as soon as possible,” the United Kingdom said in its statement.

Meanwhile, U.S. humanitarian aid is already positioned on a ship at the port of Ashdod to be unloaded when the dock is ready, the Pentagon said.

The temporary jetty is intended to supplement aid entering through land crossings into Gaza. The initial aim is to allow 90 aid trucks to enter Gaza via the jetty each day, the UK said: a number that could increase to 150 trucks per day when the pier is fully operational.

Last week, CNN reported that the United States still faced a number of obstacles before JLOTS could begin operations. The United States was closely monitoring whether what it called a “limited” Israeli incursion into Rafah in southern Gaza would affect the temporary jetty. Additionally, the United States had not yet finalized plans for who would transport the humanitarian aid shipments from the causeway to the distribution point in Gaza.

On Monday, the Pentagon said it had hired drivers for the pier, without identifying them.

“I can just tell you it’s a third-party contractor, but that’s it,” Pentagon deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh said during a briefing. Once the humanitarian aid arrives in Gaza, the United Nations World Food Program will distribute it to the Palestinian population.

On Tuesday, Ryder said security was in place to allow JLOTS operations to begin when the pier was ready.

“We are confident that we will have the security in place that we need,” Ryder said.

JLOTS will cost about $320 million to operate for the first three months, according to the Pentagon.



News Source : amp.cnn.com
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