update deskIsrael at War

US exploring maritime corridor to send aid to Gaza

But National Security Advisor John Kirby acknowledged that trucks remain the most efficient way to supply the Strip.

The “USS Carney” guided missile destroyer. Photo by Journalist Seaman Apprentice Charles A. Ordoqui/U.S. Navy via Wikimedia Commons.
The “USS Carney” guided missile destroyer. Photo by Journalist Seaman Apprentice Charles A. Ordoqui/U.S. Navy via Wikimedia Commons.

The U.S. is considering setting up a maritime corridor to supply the Gaza Strip via the Mediterranean Sea, a Pentagon spokesperson said on Tuesday.

“In coordination with the U.S. interagency and international partners, we are actively reviewing options for a maritime corridor for humanitarian assistance into Gaza, including potential commercial and contracted options,” Pentagon press secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters.

The U.S. military would only play “a supporting role” with the effort headed by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Ryder said, according to The Hill

U.S. National Security Advisor John Kirby told the press on Tuesday, “There’s still an awful lot of work that’s being done on this to flesh it out.”
 
Kirby noted, however, that “the best and most efficient way to get aid in to people in a confined space like that in a very urban environment is on the ground.” And the U.S. would “continue to urge Israel to facilitate more trucks and more routes, opening up more crossings so that more aid can get in,” he said.

The news followed U.S. Central Command’s announcement on Tuesday that it carried out a second airdrop of emergency food supplies into the Gaza Strip.

The supplies included more than 36,800 U.S. and Jordanian “culturally sensitive” meals ready-to-eat (MREs) into northern Gaza.

The first airdrop on Saturday consisted of water and more than 38,000 MREs, the U.S. Air Force said, enough food to provide more than 50,000 meals.

The U.S. has increasingly applied pressure on Israel to allow more aid into the Strip.

Earlier this week, Israeli War Cabinet member Benny Gantz visited the U.S. where he heard concerns about the humanitarian situation in Gaza from Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

Similarly, President Joe Biden posted to X on Saturday, “The amount of aid flowing to Gaza is not nearly enough and we will continue to pull out every stop we can to get more aid in.”

Israel said it is allowing enough aid to enter but blamed the United Nations for failing to distribute it. The Israeli Defense Ministry’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) unit has pointed out for months that truckloads of supplies end up sitting at the Gazan side of checkpoints after passing Israeli inspection.

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