Biden to order U.S. military to set up emergency floating PORT off Gaza to help get aid in: Thousands of American troops on ships with armed escorts could be sent to the Mediterranean Sea to build temporary pier

Biden to order U.S. military to set up emergency floating PORT off Gaza to help get aid in: Thousands of American troops on ships with armed escorts could be sent to the Mediterranean Sea to build temporary pier

  • The port will not require U.S. boots on the ground in Gaza
  • Biden will make announcement in State of the Union speech
  • Many Democrats unhappy with his handling of Israeli-Hamas war 

President Joe Biden will announce in his State of the Union address that he’s directing the military to build a port on the Gaza coast to bring relief to the population there.

His move comes as Democrats unhappy with his handling of humanitarian crisis caused by the Israeli-Hamas war have been voting ‘uncommitted’ in Democratic primaries.    

‘The President will announce that he’s directing the US military to lead an emergency mission to establish a port in the Mediterranean on the Gaza coast that can receive large ships carrying food, water medicine, and temporary shelters,’ a senior administration official said on a briefing call with reporters on Thursday.

That does not mean U.S. military personnel will be on the ground in the war torn region.

‘The planning involves the presence of US military personnel on military vessels offshore but does not require US military personnel to go ashore to install the pier or causeway facility that will allow to the transportation of humanitarian assistance,’ a senior defense official said.

‘We’re not planning for this to be an operation that would require U.S. boots on the ground,’ an official noted. 

The officials offered no time line for when the pier will be built or where exactly it will be located but said its construction will allow more shipments of food, medicine and other essential items to be delivered to the 2.2 million Palestinians.

They said the White House will coordinate with the Israelis regarding security on the ground and with the United Nations and humanitarian groups on getting aid delivered. 

The temporary pier will allow for hundreds of additional truckloads of assistance each day, the officials said. It will be an additional route for humanitarian aid, which is currently limited to two land crossings into the southern part of Gaza.

Other countries will be involved in its construction but it’s unclear if Israel will be. 

The project could take more than 30 to 60 days to construct and would involve hundreds or thousands of U.S. troops on ships just off shore. It will also require armed escorts and other protective measures.

One of the main military units involved in the construction will be the Army’s 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary), out of Joint Base Eustis-Langley, Va., near Norfolk, U.S. Defense Department officials told the New York Times.

A map of the Gaza region

Humanitarian aid falls over northern Gaza - the U.S. is participating in the air drops

Supplies are dropped out of an airplane down onto Gaza

Biden has already ordered US airlifts of aid. 

A famine has not yet been declared for Gaza but 20% of households suffer from an extreme lack of food, 30% of children suffer from acute malnutrition and 2 in 10,000 people dying per day ‘due to outright starvation or to the interaction of malnutrition and disease,’ the World Food Program said.

The administration said it was imperative to get aid on the ground as soon as possible – and that it would go around Israel, its longtime ally, to do it.

‘The president has directed that we look at all options – that we not wait for the Israelis and that we are pursuing every channel possible to get assistance into Gaza. So we will do it by air by sea by land,’ a senior administration official said.

Biden will speak about the Israeli-Hamas war and the plight of the hostages when he delivers his State of the Union address on Thursday night.  

The president has seen a concerning number of Democrats vote ‘uncommitted’ in primaries in key battleground states like Michigan and Minnesota.

In Minnesota on Tuesday, nearly 20 percent of Democratic voters in the state voted uncommitted. The week before, more than 100,000 voters in Michigan voted the same.

Palestinians carry or transport on carts some personal belongings, as they flee Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip

Children carry kitchen utensils as they walk toward a food distribution point in Gaza

The voters have been vocal about their unhappiness with how Biden is handling the Gaza situation. The president is under pressure from both home and abroad to see a ceasefire in place in the region.

The protest vote is seen as a warning sign to the president as he prepares to face Donald Trump for a presidential rematch. 

Michigan is home to the largest Arab American population in the country. Biden won the state over Trump by a mere 150,000 votes in the 2020 contest.

Biden’s administration is still working on negotiating a ceasefire.

The officials said that Hamas is delaying a new deal with Israel on releasing hostages because it has not agreed to free sick and elderly hostages.

‘The fundamental element on their side is releasing again, the sick, wounded, the elderly and a woman. That is right now, really the hold up,’ a senior administration official said.

Emily Goodin

Leave a Reply