Middle East

First equipment to build a temporary port in Gaza for aid is en route, US Central Command says

By CNN's Philip Wang

The first equipment needed to establish a temporary pier in Gaza is on its way, US Central Command (CENTCOM) said Saturday.

On Thursday, US President Joe Biden announced that the US military would begin establishing a port in the territory that could receive large shipments of critically needed food and medical supplies, with Gaza in the grips of a harrowing humanitarian crisis.

CENTCOM said that the US Army Vessel General Frank S. Besson, a logistics support boat, had departed Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia and was en route to the eastern Mediterranean.

Besson is carrying the first equipment to establish the temporary pier, according to CENTCOM.

But relief could be a long way off. The pier and causeway are expected to take at least one month, possibly two, to build and become fully operational, the Pentagon said Friday — and will likely require up to 1,000 personnel to complete.

The extraordinary measure is among a flurry of actions by the international community to alleviate the crisis in Gaza caused by Israel’s refusal to open additional land crossings or surge more aid by land as it continues to fight Hamas.

In the besieged strip, more than two million people are in need of food and the medical system has all but collapsed.

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