UK troops may be tasked with delivering Gaza aid, BBC report says

UK troops may be tasked with delivering Gaza aid, BBC report says
The UK government may deploy troops to assist in delivering aid to war-hit Gaza from a soon-to-be-constructed offshore pier by the US.
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The UK, which is already providing logistical support for construction of the US pier could soon help delivering aid to Gaza [Getty/file photo]

British troops could be tasked with delivering aid to Gaza from an offshore pier now under construction by the US military, the BBC reported Saturday. UK government officials declined to comment on the report.

According to the BBC, the British government is considering deploying troops to drive the trucks that will carry aid from the pier along a floating causeway to the shore. No decision has been made and the proposal hasn’t yet reached Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, the BBC reported, citing unidentified government sources.

The report comes after a senior US military official said on Thursday that there would be no American "boots on the ground" and another nation would provide the personnel to drive the delivery trucks to the shore. The official, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity to discuss details not yet made public, declined to identify the third party.

Britain is already providing logistical support for construction of the pier, including a Royal Navy ship that will house hundreds of US soldiers and sailors working on the project.

In addition, British military planners have been embedded at US Central Command in Florida and in Cyprus, where aid will be screened before shipment to Gaza, for several weeks, the UK Ministry of Defence said on Friday.

The UK Hydrographic Office has also shared analysis of the Gaza shoreline with the US to aid in construction of the pier.

"It is critical we establish more routes for vital humanitarian aid to reach the people of Gaza, and the UK continues to take a leading role in the delivery of support in coordination with the US and our international allies and partners," Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said in a statement.

Development of the port and pier in Gaza comes as Israel faces widespread international criticism over its severe restrictions on aid into the Palestinian territory, where multiple UN groups say that a famine is on the horizon, particularly in the north.

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Israel has killed at least 34,388 Palestinians, mostly women and children, since it began its air and ground offensive since October 7, and has been accused of war crimes and genocide.

The territory is increasingly become more and more uninhabitable, with Israeli airstrikes devastating the Gaza Strip's infrastructure.