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UK weighs sending troops to Gaza – media

British forces would reportedly be tasked with driving aid trucks to the Palestinian enclave

The UK Defense Ministry is considering deploying forces to Gaza to assist the US in delivering humanitarian aid via a new sea route, the BBC reported on Saturday, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Earlier this week, US President Joe Biden announced that the US military had begun construction of a temporary pier off the coast of Gaza to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Palestinian enclave from Cyprus. The aid would be delivered on large ships before being transferred into trucks and other vehicles to be driven along a floating causeway onto the beach. The system is expected to be completed in early May and would enable up to 150 truckloads of international aid to enter the embattled region. 

At the time of the announcement, Biden stated that “no US boots will be on the ground of Gaza as part of the operation,” with a senior US military official saying the trucks would be driven by a “significant partner.” He also confirmed that the operation would be carried out by another nation, rather than a private military company. 

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British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps said on Friday that the UK will continue to take “a leading role in the delivery of support in coordination with the US and other international allies.”

According to the BBC, British troops would be tasked with driving trucks off landing craft onto the temporary causeway and delivering aid to a secure distribution area ashore. The BBC’s sources at Whitehall said the plan is in the preliminary stages, with no final decision being made at the moment. 

Since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war last October, 1.4 million people have been displaced in Gaza and live in dire conditions, with little or no access to basic supplies, according to UNICEF. The organization states that the delivery of aid is a matter of life and death for children living in the enclave. 

Earlier this month, Israel attacked a convoy of the World Central Kitchen humanitarian organization, which caused an uproar in the international community. While the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) described the strikes, which killed seven aid workers, as a tragic mistake, more than 30 US Congress members signed a letter urging Biden to halt weapons transfers to Israel. 

 

April 28, 2024 at 12:46PM
RT

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