Israel-Hamas war: US warship heads to Gaza for makeshift shipbuilding

DAIR AL-BALA, Gaza Strip (AP) — A U.S. military ship carrying equipment to build a temporary ship in Gaza was on its way to the Mediterranean on Sunday, three days after U.S. President Joe Biden announced plans to increase aid deliveries by sea. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians are starving in the besieged territory.

opening ceremony sea ​​route, The United States, along with airdrops from Jordan and others, signaled heightened alarm Gaza's humanitarian crisis and a new willingness to ignore Israeli control over land exports.

Israel said it welcomes sea deliveries and inspects Gaza-bound cargo before leaving a staging area in nearby Cyprus. The daily number of aid trucks entering Gaza by land over the past five months has dropped to less than 500 before the war. Israeli restrictions and security issues.

Biden has stepped up General review Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he believes Netanyahu is hurting Israel more than helping Israel in his approach. The war against Hamas In Gaza, now in the sixth month.

Speaking to MSNBC's Jonathan Gabhart on Saturday, the president expressed support for Israel's right to pursue Hamas after the militants. October 7 attack in southern Israel, but Netanyahu said “more attention should be paid to the innocent lives that will be lost as a result of the actions taken.” And you can't kill 30,000 more Palestinians, he said.

Palestinian casualties continue to mount in Gaza.

At least nine Palestinians, including children, were killed in an Israeli airstrike on a house in Gaza City late Saturday, the Civil Defense Department said.

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Footage shared by civil defense showed first responders pulling out the dead and injured trapped in the collapsed house. A rescuer was seen holding the dead child before placing the limp body on a sofa amid the rubble.

Elsewhere, the bodies of 15 people, including women and children, were taken to the main hospital in the central city of Deir al-Bala on Sunday, an Associated Press journalist said. Relatives said they were killed in Israeli artillery fire on a large tent camp for displaced Palestinians in the coastal area east of the southern city of Khan Younis.

Israel rarely comments on specific incidents during the war. It said Hamas was responsible for civilian casualties as the militant group operated from inside civilian areas.

At least 31,045 Palestinians have been killed since the war began, the health ministry in Gaza said on Sunday. Its numbers do not distinguish between civilians and combatants but say two-thirds of the dead were women and children. The ministry is part of the Hamas-run government, and its figures from previous wars largely match those of the UN and independent experts.

Meanwhile, US efforts are underway to set up a temporary ship in Gaza for sea supplies. America's first battleship, General Frank S. The Besson left a base in Virginia on Saturday and was en route to the eastern Mediterranean with shipbuilding equipment, US Central Command said.

US officials said it would take weeks for the port to become operational.

The sea route is supported by the European Union along with the United States, the United Arab Emirates and other countries. The European Commission has said that UN agencies and the Red Cross will play a role.

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A ship belonging to Spain's Open Arms Assistance Group was expected to make a pilot trip to test the corridor later this week. The ship was waiting at the port of Larnaca, Cyprus.

Open Arms founder Oscar Camps said a ship towing a barge with 200 tons of rice and flour would take two to three days to arrive at an unknown destination.

Member of Charity World Central Kitchen, It is on a test run, X said earlier on Twitter, and once the barge reaches Gaza, it will be loaded by an aid crane, placed on trucks and transported to northern Gaza, which is largely cut off from aid exports.

Senior aid officials have warned that air and sea supplies cannot compensate for the lack of land supply routes.

A new push for more aid came ahead of the Muslim holy month Ramadan, It follows the lunar calendar and may begin on Sunday evening depending on the sighting of the crescent moon.

Israel declared war on October 7 after Hamas militants attacked southern Israel, killing about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking 250 hostages. Israel's blistering air and ground attack destroyed large parts of Gaza, About 80% of the population of 2.3 million were displaced, creating a dire humanitarian crisis.

The United States and regional mediators Egypt and Qatar had hoped for a six-week ceasefire at the start of Ramadan, but talks appeared to have stalled, with Hamas guaranteeing that a temporary ceasefire would lead to an end. Enmity.

Mediators hoped to defuse the immediate crisis with a temporary ceasefire that would free some Israeli hostages held by Hamas, Israel would release some Palestinian prisoners and aid groups would be given access to deliver massive aid inside Gaza. .

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Magdy reported from Cairo.

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Learn more about AP's coverage https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war

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