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Palestinians call US's temporary pier in Gaza ‘occupation port’

March 27, 2024 at 4:54 pm

A view of the construction site as works for a temporary port off Gaza are ongoing on March 15, 2024. [Ashraf Amra – Anadolu Agency]

Palestinians are describing a temporary pier being constructed by the US on the shores of Gaza City as an “occupation port”, Anadolu Agency reports.

US President Joe Biden, on 7 March, announced that he had tasked the US military with building a temporary pier off Gaza for the delivery of much-needed humanitarian aid, as Israel continues to let only a trickle of aid into the enclave by land.

The US Defence Department also said that the construction of the temporary pier could take up to 60 days, after which 2 million meals per day would be provided to Gaza.

Palestinian requests for equipment to remove the debris of homes bombed in months of Israeli attacks, to retrieve the bodies of the deceased, and to aid the wounded have gone unanswered over the past six months.

However, in recent weeks, with the support of the US, numerous bulldozers and trucks sent by Israel to the Gaza border have been transporting thousands of tons of rubble from demolished homes in Gaza, along with body parts, to the shore of the disaster-stricken area to be used in the construction of the new pier.

READ: Israel opposes Qatar’s participation in building, operating Gaza pier

Speaking to Anadolu, Palestinian political analyst, Usame Abdulhadi, accused the US and Israel of not being honest about the project.

“If they were honest, the trucks and massive bulldozers entering Gaza to build the port would have stepped up to rescue thousands of wounded who continue to bleed to death under the rubble of homes destroyed by the Occupying state (Israel),” he said.

“This pier will be built to strengthen Israel’s sovereignty on the coast, to render the Rafah Border Crossing ineffective, to end Palestinian sovereignty and to encourage the migration of the people of Gaza,” Abdulhadi warned.

Underlining that Israel has blockaded Gaza, closed border crossings and hindered the entry of humanitarian aid, he said: “Israel’s taking this step without obtaining a hidden benefit is illogical. It appears that this situation is actually linked to encouraging the migration of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip.”

Abdulhadi said the US and Israel seek to control part of the Gaza coast under the pretext of protecting the pier, facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid and preventing Hamas from controlling the area.

“This is an occupation port, allowing the US military entry into the borders of Gaza,” he added.

Israel has waged a deadly military offensive on Palestinian Territories since a 7 October cross-border attack by the Palestinian group, Hamas, which killed around 1,200 people.

However, since then, it has been revealed by Haaretz that helicopters and tanks of the Israeli army had, in fact, killed many of the 1,139 soldiers and civilians claimed by Israel to have been killed by the Palestinian Resistance.

More than 32,000 Palestinians have since been killed and some 75,000 injured amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities.

The Israeli war has pushed 85 per cent of Gaza’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine, while 60 per cent of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice which, in January, issued an interim ruling that ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

READ: Russia calls US idea to build pier off Gaza ‘dances on bones’