The decision comes amid warnings from the UN of an impending famine in Gaza, with reports of children starving to death. Land and air deliveries have faced challenges, including gunfire and looting disrupting aid convoys and a tragic incident of a falling aid package causing casualties.

Departing less than 36 hours after President Biden's announcement, the General Frank S Besson is carrying the initial equipment needed to establish the temporary pier. The Pentagon estimates that the construction may take up to 60 days, involving 1,000 troops who will remain on the ship.

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Despite the urgency emphasized by charities on the ground, an aid ship named Open Arms, loaded with 200 tonnes of food, is expected to depart from Larnaca, Cyprus. The vessel is set to follow a new sea route recently opened by the EU, allowing aid to sail directly from Cyprus to Gaza. The Spanish charity ship, Open Arms, in collaboration with the US charity World Central Kitchen, is preparing to deliver aid at a location kept secret, where a pier is reportedly being constructed to receive the supplies.

The initiative has received cautious approval from Israel, with assurances of security checks in Cyprus before aid is allowed into Gaza. The ongoing conflict in the region, which began with Hamas's attacks on Israel, has created a severe humanitarian crisis. The UN warns that a quarter of Gaza's population, around 576,000 people, are facing catastrophic levels of food insecurity.

Efforts to address the crisis include calls from Western countries to expand land deliveries, pressing Israel to facilitate more routes and open additional crossings. While aid has been entering the south of Gaza through controlled crossings, the north, heavily affected by the Israeli ground offensive, has faced challenges in receiving assistance, leaving an estimated 300,000 Palestinians with limited access to food and clean water.

Amid accusations of Israel hindering aid efforts, an independent UN expert recently accused the country of a "starvation campaign against the Palestinian people in Gaza." Israel firmly rejects these allegations, emphasizing its commitment to security standards and humanitarian assistance.