March 08, 2024

1,000 US troops deploying to build offshore port for Gaza aid

Source: Air Force Times

Journalist: Meghann Myers

The temporary port has the potential to pick up some of the slack, Jonathan Lord, senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, told Military Times on Friday, but with the same distribution concerns as aid arriving over land.

“How do you get aid not just onshore, but then securely distributed, such that it goes to everyone who needs it, and isn’t otherwise blocked in by Hamas insurgents, criminal gangs, vigilantes or others that might be taking advantage of emerging security vacuums?” he said.

Non-government organizations, the United Nations and other regional partners could be tapped to accept and distribute the aid ashore, Ryder said, though those details aren’t finalized.

Another issue is the inspection process for aid, which has slowed down the flow in land shipments.

“If you ask, the Israelis would argue that they, in fact, are not the bottleneck. They are inspecting more trucks than are actually going in on a day-to-day basis,” Lord said. “And when you ask them to what do they attribute that delta, they would say that the groups operating in Gaza don’t have enough drivers.”

Others, including two U.S senators, say Israel’s “cumbersome” and “arbitrary” inspection process is holding things up, comments the lawmakers made after a trip to Egypt to observe the Rafah border crossing in January.

“So that poses a question: Is, in fact, the problem one of a deficit of aid or deficit of aid distribution?” Lord said. “Likely, we’re going to find out, because if you can bring containerships worth of aid up to Gaza, you’re going to find out very quickly what your logistical supply line and your interior lines look like, and whether you have the capacity to effectively distribute it, in pretty short order.”

In any case, Lord said, the U.S. will continue to pressure the Israeli government to ease restrictions on incoming aid, as well as open up more land crossings, as Biden mentioned in his speech Thursday night.

Read the full story and more from Air Force Times.

Authors

  • Jonathan Lord

    Senior Fellow and Director, Middle East Security Program

    Jonathan Lord is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Middle East Security program at CNAS. Prior to joining CNAS, Lord served as a professional staff member for the House Arme...