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US-constructed floating pier makes its way from Ashdod port to Gaza, confirms defense authority.

American-made floating dock moves from Ashdod port towards Gaza, confirms defense source.

Military vessels assigned to erect the pier that will connect to the shoreline of Gaza are now en route to the area, according to a senior official.

Earlier this week, a spokesperson for the Pentagon, Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder, stated that the operation should be up and running “in the coming days.” The pier is around 30 miles away from the relief distribution center in Gaza where the products will be unloaded from the floating structure.

The Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore (JLOTS) system is made up of two parts: the floating platform where cargo will be unloaded, and the causeway to transport the cargo from the pier to the distribution point.

On Wednesday, Britain revealed that the first shipment of humanitarian assistance, including 8,400 transitory shelters, had left Cyprus and was headed to Gaza. Cyprus is acting as the staging ground for the humanitarian aid that will utilize the maritime route and the pier.

The UK announced, “The aid will be distributed within Gaza as soon as possible.” Meantime, the US has already positioned its humanitarian assistance on a vessel docked at the Ashdod port, waiting to be offloaded.

The plan is to have the floating pier assist in the transportation of aid to Gaza alongside the land crossings. The goal is to allow 90 truckloads of assistance to enter Gaza daily through the pier, with that number potentially rising to 150 truckloads per day once the pier is fully functioning.

Last week, CNN mentioned various challenges before JLOTS operations could begin. The US was monitoring the effects of what it termed a “limited” Israeli foray into Rafah in southern Gaza perhaps jeopardizing the temporary pier. The US had also not yet decided who would handle the transportation of the humanitarian aid from the causeway to the distribution point in Gaza.

On Monday, the Pentagon disclosed that it had secured drivers for the pier, but refused to reveal their identities.

“I can just tell you it’s a third-party contractor,” deputy Pentagon press secretary Sabrina Singh said during a briefing.

When the aid arrives in Gaza, the United Nations World Food Program will distribute it to the Palestinian populace.

On Tuesday, Ryder proclaimed that adequate security had been arranged to commence JLOTS operations when the pier was operational.

“We’re confident that we’ll have the security in place that we need,” Ryder declared.

The estimated cost of operating JLOTS for the initial three months hovers around $320 million, the Pentagon confirmed.

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Source: edition.cnn.com

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