Biden to announce temporary port for humanitarian aid on Gaza coast

Biden is expected to announce the plans in his State of the Union address (AP)
Biden is expected to announce the plans in his State of the Union address (AP)

President Joe Biden will announce a plan for a temporary port on Gaza's coast to increase the delivery of humanitarian aid, according to officials.

Officials speaking ahead of the president’s State of the Union speech told AP that a pier will be built to allow more food, medicine and other essential items into the territory.

The operation will not require American troops on the ground and one official said US military has "unique capabilities" and can do things from "just offshore”, according to reports in US media.

The US has had to go around Israel, its main ally in the region, and find ways to get aid into Gaza, including through airdrops.

Biden last week first raised the idea of establishing a "maritime corridor," saying the US was working with allies on how it might provide assistance from the sea to those in Gaza.

General Erik Kurilla, head of US Central Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee, that he had briefed officials on the option.

The US conducted a third airdrop in the northern part of Gaza, where there is no Israeli presence, on Thursday.

Mr Kurilla said Central Command has provided options for increasing the number of trucks taking aid to those areas.

Five months of fighting between Israel and Hamas have left much of Hamas-run Gaza in ruins and led to a worsening humanitarian catastrophe.

Many Palestinians, especially in the devastated north, are scrambling for food to survive.

Aid groups have said it has become nearly impossible to deliver supplies within most of Gaza because of the difficulty of coordinating with the Israeli military, the ongoing hostilities and the breakdown of public order.