Humanitarian Aid or Political Conspiracy – What Do Gazans Think of the American Pier

US President Joe Biden. (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

By Noor Alyacoubi

As the pier is expected to be finished in May, questions remain unanswered. Does it really aim to provide Gaza with immediate aid provisions?

The rubble and ruins that once were vibrant streets now stand as a blatant testament to the devastating impact of the unending Israeli assault on Gaza. 

As Israel launched a barrage of bombings and artillery shelling starting on October 7, Gaza was plunged into a deeper abyss of suffering, while Israel declared the northern region of the Strip as a war zone. 

Although many refused to abandon their homes, massive crowds of Palestinians fled south, seeking refuge and sustenance. 

Meanwhile, in the north, Israel employed a crucial tactic, using hunger as a weapon to pressure Palestinian residents to escape, while aiming to consolidate control over Gaza city.

With aid being banned from entering the city for months, the humanitarian crisis deepened in Gaza, as Israel only allowed a very limited number of trucks. This relief, although insufficient, came at a cost.

Trucks were only allowed to pass through two main streets, which fall under the control of the Israeli army: Al-Rasheed Street and Salah Ad-Din Street. 

With no international institutions or local bodies permitted to run the distribution process of humanitarian aid in northern Gaza, crowds of starving Palestinians used to rush toward the trucks, risking their own lives to secure provisions for their families. 

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One tragic incident, which took place at the Nabulsi roundabout, captured the world’s attention on February 29. 

At least 100 people were killed and many more wounded as the Israeli army fired shells and opened fire at crowds awaiting humanitarian aid. 

While several countries, including Jordan, UAE, Egypt, and others, conducted airdrops of humanitarian aid, the United States introduced a separate initiative: the pier.

In March, US President Joe Biden issued a decree to construct a pier alongside the Gaza offshore. 

It was promoted as a lifeline for the besieged enclave, allowing aid to flow freely. However, it was met with skepticism by Gazans, who started questioning Washington’s true intentions.

The Israeli government’s acceptance of the pier’s construction, and readiness to provide it with security and logistical support, only fuelled doubts. 

“Why build a pier under Israeli control when there were other direct routes like the Rafah and the Karem Abu Salem crossings?” Sally Fouad, a 26-year-old genocide survivor in northern Gaza told The Palestine Chronicle.

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“The United States has shown a long standing support for Israel since the very beginning of war. So, why are they so concerned about the lives of Gazans now?”

The pier is located in the southern part of Gaza City, north of the so-called Netzarim corridor, which separates the north of Gaza from the south. Since October 2023, this area has been under full control by the Israeli army.

“We’ve heard about the pier through news and social media, but haven’t seen it,” Mohammed Hamed, a 31-year-old engineer, told us. “If we come too close, we could be shot by Israeli forces.

For her part, Nabila Hussam is sure that the pier has other objectives than mere humanitarian aid. 

“There are many other ways to deliver aid to Gaza. If the United States wants to help Gaza, they can pressure Israel to end the war or at least push it to deliver more aid,” she said.

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Nabila thinks that the pier is but another Israeli-American scheme to empty the Strip from its native population, by pushing Palestinians to immigrate through this route. 

As the pier is expected to be finished in May, questions remain unanswered. Does it really aim to provide Gaza with immediate aid provisions? Or is it just another way to facilitate Israel’s control over the Strip? 

The people of Gaza cannot afford to be pawns in a geopolitical chessboard. They deserve dignity, justice, and genuine relief from the suffering that has engulfed their lives. 

(The Palestine Chronicle)

– Noor Alyacoubi is a Gaza-based writer. She studied English language and literature at al-Azhar university in Gaza City. She is part of the Gaza-based writers’ collective We Are Not Numbers. She contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

(The Palestine Chronicle is a registered 501(c)3 organization, thus, all donations are tax deductible.)
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1 Comment

  1. B#llsh!t. Clearly this is the American government meddling, as usual. Trade routes in and out of Africa, and a constant thorn in the side of Iran, Yemen et al, who will feel intimidated. Psychological warfare. But the citizens would never want any of this. We want our government to stop contributing to the deliquency of minor oppressor states who are illegal and immoral and should dissolve asap.

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