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US plan for temporary pier in Gaza a "glaring distraction"

The US should insist on immediate humanitarian access using existing roads and entry points.

Displaced Palestinians wait in line to get the clean water from a water station in Tal Al-Sultan, a neighborhood in the southern Gaza town of Rafah.

People line up to receive safe drinking water from MSF in Rafah. Our teams are providing an average of 29,000 gallons per day to around 20,000 people. However, this is nowhere near enough. | Palestinian Territories 2024 © MSF

On March 7, President Biden announced plans for the US military to build a temporary pier on the coast of Gaza in the Mediterranean Sea in order to help deliver humanitarian aid. Today the US also issued a joint statement with the European Commission, the Republic of Cyprus, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom announcing the activation of a "maritime corridor" to support humanitarian assistance.

Avril Benoît, executive director for Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) USA, gave the below statement following these announcements:

"The US plan for a temporary pier in Gaza to increase the flow of humanitarian aid is a glaring distraction from the real problem: Israel’s indiscriminate and disproportionate military campaign and punishing siege. The food, water, and medical supplies so desperately needed by people in Gaza are sitting just across the border. Israel needs to facilitate rather than block the flow of supplies. This is not a logistics problem; it is a political problem. Rather than look to the US military to build a work-around, the US should insist on immediate humanitarian access using the roads and entry points that already exist.
In the past months, the US has vetoed three UN Security Council resolutions calling for a ceasefire—which is the only way to ensure a real scale up in emergency assistance. We reiterate our call for an immediate and sustained ceasefire to stop the killing of thousands more civilians and allow for the delivery of desperately needed humanitarian aid."

In Gaza, staff are risking their lives to provide care

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