Biden directs US military to establish aid port in Gaza as Israel-Hamas war looms over his State of the Union

Biden directs US military to establish aid port in Gaza as Israel-Hamas war looms over his State of the Union - None - News

Title: The Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza: A Looming Famine and the Urgent Need for Action

President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address on March 31, 2022, came at a time when the Palestinian people in Gaza faced an increasingly dire humanitarian situation. Tens of thousands of Palestinians were on the brink of a full-blown crisis, with officials warning that the territory was teetering on the edge of famine.

Although President Biden had expressed optimism about a possible temporary ceasefire offering some reprieve, the prospects of such a development seemed to be growing increasingly uncertain.

During his speech, Biden announced that the US military would begin establishing a port in Gaza to receive large shipments of critically needed food and medical supplies. He emphasized, “A temporary pier would enable a massive increase in the amount of humanitarian assistance getting into Gaza every day.”

However, this relief measure came with a stern message to Israeli leadership. Biden stated firmly, “Protecting and saving innocent lives has to be a priority.” He reiterated his position that a two-state solution was the only real answer to the conflict.

The UN World Food Program had previously warned of an impending famine in Gaza, with approximately 500,000 people at risk. The conflict’s impact was not limited to fatalities, with at least 20 deaths due to malnutrition and dehydration since the war began. The youngest victim was just a one-day-old child who succumbed to starvation and lack of medical care.

The Israeli military’s relentless ground and air attacks since the October 7 attack by Hamas resulted in over 30,000 injuries. The situation continued to deteriorate, with no clear timeline for when the port would be operational or why the administration waited until the State of the Union address to announce these heightened efforts.

Dr. Ashraf Al-Qidra, Health Ministry spokesperson, emphasized the urgency of the situation, stating, “The famine is deepening and will claim thousands of citizens if the aggression is not stopped and humanitarian and medical aid is not immediately entered into Gaza.”

As Ramadan approached, Israeli war preparations against Hamas added to the tension. The possibility of a military offensive in Rafah, where 1.5 million Palestinians sought shelter, loomed large. Israeli officials demanded the return of remaining Israeli hostages in Gaza before Ramadan to avert any further escalation.

Peace talks were disrupted when over 100 Palestinian civilians were killed at a food distribution site in an incident dubbed the “Flour Massacre.” The diplomat involved explained, “The killings took us back 10 steps.”

UN officials welcomed Biden’s announcement but advocated for road access into the territory as the only viable solution to avert a starvation crisis. The situation in Gaza was rapidly becoming untenable, and urgent action was required to prevent further loss of life and ensure the basic needs of the affected population were met.