Is the creation of a humanitarian port in Gaza possible?

Under pressure between American support for Israel and public opinion which is moved by the humanitarian crisis plaguing the Palestinian enclave, Joe Biden announced Thursday evening the creation of a “temporary port on the coast of Gaza”.

Is the creation of a humanitarian port in Gaza possible?

Under pressure between American support for Israel and public opinion which is moved by the humanitarian crisis plaguing the Palestinian enclave, Joe Biden announced Thursday evening the creation of a “temporary port on the coast of Gaza”.

“Tonight, the president will announce in his State of the Union address that he has ordered the American military to carry out an emergency mission to establish a port in Gaza,” warned Thursday 7 March a senior official. Five months, to the day, after the Hamas attack in Israel, on October 7, 2023, which triggered the war between the Hebrew state and the Palestinian movement, for lack of being able to reason with its long-time ally, the United States announced Thursday, through their president, Joe Biden, the creation of a “temporary port on the coast of Gaza”. The objective: to finally manage to deliver the humanitarian aid which is currently arriving in dribs and drabs in the Palestinian enclave.

Bombarded by the Israeli army, many Gazans had to resolve to move to the south of the enclave where they are now crowded together in deplorable humanitarian conditions. Infrastructure, care, food… Everything is lacking, while the bombs continue to rain. In this dramatic context, humanitarian aid convoys intended for civilians are regularly attacked or hijacked by Israelis for whom only the annihilation of Hamas now matters. Airdropping food has been attempted, but the quantities delivered remain far too low while famine looms.

The latest talks did not lead to the ceasefire agreement hoped for by Washington before the start of the month of Ramadan, Hamas having left the negotiating table on Thursday. So, stuck between the unconditional support of the United States for Israel and public opinion which is moved by the situation of the Gazans, Joe Biden took advantage of his speech to Congress on the State of the Union to open up a emergency exit, announcing nothing more or less the construction of a port. Concretely, it is an artificial port, built in kit form and assembled directly at sea, which must be set up and transported near the coasts of the Palestinian enclave.

According to Joe Biden, the structure must be able to “accommodate large ships carrying food, water, medicine and temporary shelter”. While humanitarian aid will be transported from Cyprus by boat, as relayed by franceinfo, hundreds of trucks will then be able to supply the entire enclave, it is promised. This stratagem would make it possible to deliver large quantities quickly without “any ground deployment of American troops,” insisted Joe Biden.

However, one question remains: how long will it take to set up such a building? L'Express mentions several weeks, while franceinfo speaks of at least a month. A time that unfortunately not all hungry Gazans have. Hamas has in fact reported in recent days the deaths of at least 20 civilians due to dehydration or malnutrition. Likewise, underlines the New York Times, this solution will not solve all the problems since the trucks, even full, will not necessarily be able to make deliveries due to the intensity of the bombings. Finally, this humanitarian aid will always be subject to Israeli control, said Israel's spokesperson on X, which tends to slow down the pace of deliveries, Franceinfo points out.

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