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Israel to provide ‘security bubble’ for Gaza pier

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The IDF would also be responsible for physically connecting the pier to Gaza’s shore, according to U.S. officials.


Israel has committed to providing security for the temporary pier that the United States is seeking to build off the coast of the Gaza Strip to deliver aid, U.S. officials familiar with the plans told Politico on Wednesday.

The plans under discussion include an Israel Defense Forces “security bubble” meant to protect the U.S. personnel involved in building the pier and the individuals involved in distributing the aid, claimed the officials, who spoke on the basis of anonymity to discuss sensitive talks.

The IDF would also be responsible for physically connecting the pier to the Strip’s shore, they said, stressing that plans still need to be finalized. Another “partner country” may also be involved in providing some security, depending on where the pier is ultimately built in Gaza.

A spokesperson for the IDF told the outlet that the army “will be coordinating with the U.S. military to facilitate the project” but declined to provide any specifics.

In his March 7 State of the Union address, Biden announced the establishment of a floating pier on the Gaza coast to deliver supplies following an inspection. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant welcomed the initiative, saying that it would help collapse Hamas.

Two days after Biden’s speech, IDF Spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari revealed that “following the directive of the minister of defense, and together with our partners in the United States and the United States Central Command, we are coordinating the establishment of a temporary floating pier, intended to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza.”

According to a March 19 report by Israel’s Channel 14 broadcaster, Washington has requested that Hamas ally Qatar take charge of operating and financing the pier, currently on its way from the United States to Gaza.

Qatar consented to run the port on condition that the construction work go to the Al-Hisi firm, “a company controlled and sponsored by Hamas,” per Channel 14, which cited Arab reports following a meeting in Cyprus between diplomatic officials from Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

“Qatar has an interest in this port. Qatar wants to preserve Hamas,” said correspondent Baruch Yedid. “Qatar also wants leverage over Hamas.”

Qatar is a key financial backer of the terror group and has sent millions monthly to prop it up. Since 2012, the Gulf State has pumped an estimated $1.8 billion dollars into Gaza, according to the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies think tank. Qatar also hosts Hamas leaders.

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