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DVIDS photo of the Gaza pier being built by the DoD

U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to the 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary) and US Merchant Mariners attached to the MV Roy P. Benavidez assemble the Roll-On, Roll-Off Distribution Facility (RRDF), or floating pier, off the shore of Gaza in support of Operation Neptune Solace, April 26, 2024. The temporary pier will assist the United States Agency for International Development in the delivery of humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza, which will increase the quantity and flow of humanitarian aid, including food, water, medicine, and temporary shelters.

UK To Send Contractors Not Soldiers To Gaza Pier

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May 12, 2024

By Esteban Duarte (Bloomberg) The UK will probably use contractors in the US-led operation to deliver humanitarian aid on the beaches of Gaza rather than deploying its own forces, Foreign Secretary David Cameron said.

The US last week completed the construction of two floating piers as part of a maritime corridor to deliver aid into Gaza. While the UK is fully part of the effort, including the use of a Royal Navy ship as a logistics hub, it will avoid deploying military personnel in Gaza, Cameron said in a BBC interview on Sunday.

“British boots on the ground, I think, is a risk that we should not take,” Cameron said, a policy that would line up with the US. “There are other people that can do it.” 

The multinational effort to deliver aid comes as the US and UK lead nations arguing against a full Israeli offensive into the southern Gazan city of Rafah, arguing that it will only worsen an already dire humanitarian situation

While President Joe Biden said the US was withholding a shipment of bombs to dissuade Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the UK is allowing the country’s defense companies to continue deliveries to Israel.

The UK accounts for about 1% of Israel’s weapons, and has up until now allowed export licensing to continue.

“But that’s a rolling process,” Cameron said. “Just to simply announce today we’re going to change our whole approach to arms exports rather than go through our careful process, it would strengthen Hamas. It would make a hostage deal less likely. I don’t think it would be the right approach.”

Mark Bryson-Richardson, the foreign secretary’s representative for humanitarian affairs in the occupied Palestinian Territories, will meet an Israeli cabinet member next week to discuss issues including the delivery of humanitarian aid in Gaza, Cameron said.

By Esteban Duarte © 2024 Bloomberg L.P.

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