Expectations of the imminent operation of a port in Gaza, and an expert warns of “hidden goals”

Laith Al-Juneidi

On 09/03/2024

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Pour nous appuyer, vous pouvez devenir membres, participer aux vigiles, faire un don ou toutes ces options en même temps. Nous avons hâte de travailler avec vous!


A European official expects the start of the operation of the sea-aid corridor to the Gaza Strip next week, following US President Joe Biden’s announcement that he had ordered the army to begin implementing this project, which Israel has approved. This step raised a number of questions that prompted some observers to consider it a project in favor of Israel.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that she expects a sea-aid corridor to begin operating between Cyprus and the Gaza Strip at the beginning of next week to deliver the aid that the Palestinians in the Strip desperately need.

She added that the first food aid through this corridor may leave Cyprus today, Friday, from the port of Larnaca, in a run-through experiment.

Britain joins America

US President Joe Biden said – in his State of the Union address – that he assigned the US army an emergency mission to establish a pier on the Gaza coast with the aim of delivering large quantities of humanitarian aid.

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron also announced that his country would cooperate with the United States to open a sea corridor to deliver aid directly to Gaza.

He added: “Along with the United States, Britain and its partners announce the opening of a sea corridor to deliver aid directly to Gaza.”

Israel was not far from these arrangements, as the Israeli media quoted a senior Israeli official whose name was not revealed as saying that Tel Aviv supports the establishment of a temporary floating dock to bring humanitarian relief aid to the residents of the Gaza Strip, like the one Biden spoke about.

According to this official, this initiative was discussed between Israel and the United States in the past and they agreed to coordinate its implementation

Port specifications

The Jordanian expert in military and strategic affairs, Hisham Khreisat, explained that the idea of establishing such a port was proposed 10 years ago, but it did not see the light due to Israeli rejection at the time, and the issue was newly presented in conjunction with the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip , as presented by Foreign Minister Israel Katz. An agreement was reached with a blessing from Cyprus and Greece regarding this step.

Khreisat pointed out that the initial cost of the project is estimated at $35 million, which will be paid by the United States, and the draft depth of the ships at the pier will not be less than 17 meters, to accommodate all aid ships.

He stated that the area of the port will be 6 square kilometers because it will include floating hospitals that treat about 2.3 Palestinian civilians in Gaza, in addition to floating shelter homes on ships alongside the hospitals.

Khreisat explained that a port in Cyprus, paid for by the United States, will be allocated, reaching the port’s location on the shore of the city of Khan Yunis on the coast of Gaza, noting that the distance from the port of Cyprus to the American port in Gaza is estimated at 387 kilometers.

He pointed out that the ships will first go to the Israeli port of Ashdod to be audited and examined and then sent under the control of the Israeli Navy to the Gaza Strip.

Hidden goals

The expert Khreisat points out that despite the “humanitarian aspect” of what Biden announced and the delivery of relief aid to the Gaza Strip and the establishment of floating hospitals to treat the war-wounded, there is another aspect of the floating port related to encouraging voluntary Palestinian migration to Europe, and canceling any role for the Rafah land crossing on the border with Egypt.

He considers that “the floating dock on the shores of Gaza appears to be aid, but in reality is to encourage Gazans to “voluntary” migrate to Europe.”

Khreisat pointed out that establishing of such a port would certainly put the Rafah crossing out of service because Israel does not trust it and considers it the main entrance for the weapons of the Islamic Resistance Movement ( Hamas ).

He also indicated that Biden is very concerned about what will result from the Israeli army’s invasion of the city of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, and about not ending the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza, which will be reflected in the outcome of the elections in the United States, so he will accelerate the construction of the port.

The Rafah crossing is considered the only outlet for Gaza with the outside world, especially with regard to the issue of humanitarian aid entering it during this war in which Israel has restricted the entry of aid into the Strip, which threatens to bring on a generalized famine, especially in the northern regions.

The movement of individuals and goods to and from the Gaza Strip took place through 6 crossings: Beit Hanoun (Erez), Karni, Nahal Oz, Kerem Shalom, and Sufa, in addition to the Rafah crossing on the border with Egypt.

After the siege imposed by Israel on Gaza since 2007, all crossings were closed except for the Rafah and Beit Hanoun crossings, which were designated for the movement of individuals, and the Kerem Shalom crossing, which was designated for the transport of goods.

International calls

The American announcement, Britain’s rush to join, and Israel’s blessing for these steps did not succeed in stopping calls to reopen the Gaza Strip crossings.

Spokesman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Jeremy Lawrence, called for an immediate end to the conflict in Gaza and an end to the killing and destruction.

The UN official called for the full opening of the border crossings and that the necessary steps be taken to ensure the free and safe movement of aid convoys to civilians wherever they are.

The spokesman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights warned that any ground attack on Rafah would lead to heavy loss of life and increase the risk of more brutal crimes.

Translation of Aljazeera arabic article https://aja.ws/goo2s2

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