Pentagon: All vessels for building temporary Gaza harbour are ready

Washington: The Pentagon has said that construction of a temporary harbour to deliver aid to the embattled Gaza Strip will soon begin.

“All the necessary vessels are within the Mediterranean region and standing by… to begin construction when given the order to do that,” said US Department of Defence spokesman Patrick Ryder on Tuesday. “We are positioned to begin construction very soon, in the very near future.”

Ryder added that construction was likely to begin by early May at the latest.

The US government in March said that it wanted to set up a temporary harbour in the Mediterranean Sea off the Gaza Strip to bring food, water and medicine to the territory.

The Gaza war was triggered by the unprecedented massacre with more than 1,200 deaths that militants from the Palestinian Hamas movement and other Islamist groups carried out in Israel on October 7.

Israel responded with massive airstrikes and a ground offensive. Given the high number of civilian casualties and the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, Israel has come in for increasing criticism internationally.

The US recently called on its ally Israel to rapidly expand aid deliveries for the civilian population in the territory.

In the meantime, there is still a risk of famine in northern Gaza. According to the World Food Programme (WFP), a few days ago lorries carrying aid for the north passed through the newly opened Erez border crossing for the first time since the beginning of the conflict on October 7.

Aid also reached the north of the region via another border crossing. In addition, aid shipments were channelled through the port of Ashdod in southern Israel for the first time.

According to experts, aid for Gaza must be expanded quickly. On Wednesday, a UN report on hunger worldwide will be presented in Geneva.

IANS

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