NewsBiden announces US-led initiative to build temporary Gaza port

Biden announces US‑led initiative to build temporary Gaza port

President of the USA Joe Biden
President of the USA Joe Biden
Images source: © Getty Images | Chip Somodevilla
6:11 AM EST, March 8, 2024
In his speech, while Biden reaffirmed Israel's right to confront Hamas, he voiced his concerns over the extensive collateral damage of the conflict. He estimated that the conflict had resulted in 30,000 civilian casualties and criticized Benjamin Netanyahu's government for its approach to humanitarian assistance.

Establishing a Port in the Gaza Strip

"To the leaders of Israel, I say this: Humanitarian aid must not be sidelined or used as leverage. The protection and preservation of innocent lives should be paramount. Looking ahead, the only viable, long-lasting solution is a two-state resolution," the US president declared.

Biden revealed that he had directed the military to embark on an "extraordinary mission to set up a port in Gaza" in collaboration with other countries and organizations. This initiative aims to establish a maritime corridor for funneling humanitarian assistance to the Gaza Strip from Cyprus.

Officials from the administration highlighted that the construction of the temporary port would not necessitate American troops on Gaza's territory but would instead be situated near the coastline.

The inauguration of this maritime route is anticipated to boost the capacity for aid delivery significantly, matching the volume of hundreds of trucks daily. This project adds to previous efforts, such as airdropping military food rations from planes departing Jordan. This initiative is a response by the USA to the worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza and to Israel's restrictions on land-based supplies.

The Deadlock in Negotiations

At the Thursday briefing, officials also discussed the stalled negotiations over a ceasefire and the liberation of Hamas hostages. The deadlock was attributed to Hamas's refusal to release sick and elderly captives.

Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, initiated an armed attack on Israel on October 7, 2023, leading to roughly 1,200 casualties, predominantly among civilians, and the abduction of around 240 individuals. The subsequent retaliatory actions by Israel have resulted in over 30,000 Palestinian deaths, with nearly 90% of the Gaza Strip's population of over 2 million being displaced. The UN reports that 2.2 million residents of the Gaza Strip face the threat of starvation.

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