Controversial US aid pier reattached to Gaza coast as deliveries resume

Washington DC - The temporary US pier aimed at boosting aid shipments to Gaza has been reattached to the coast and deliveries of humanitarian assistance have resumed, the Pentagon said on Thursday.

A ship transporting international humanitarian aid is moored at the US-built Trident Pier as Palestinians walk along a main road near Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on May 21, 2024.
A ship transporting international humanitarian aid is moored at the US-built Trident Pier as Palestinians walk along a main road near Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on May 21, 2024.  © AFP

The pier was moved to an Israeli port last week to protect it from anticipated high seas – the second time that bad weather required it to be detached from the coast since it was first installed last month.

"I can confirm that US Central Command personnel re-anchored and reestablished the temporary pier to the Gaza beach yesterday," with Israeli forces assisting so there were no American troops on the ground, Pentagon spokesman Major General Pat Ryder told journalists.

The delivery of aid via the pier resumed overnight, bringing the total brought into Gaza using the structure to more than nine million pounds of assistance, he said.

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The pier was first anchored to the Gaza coast in mid-May but was damaged by bad weather later in the month and had to be removed for repairs.

It was then reattached to the coast on June 7, but aid deliveries were soon paused for two days due to weather conditions, and the pier was then temporarily removed on June 14.

UN World Food Program aid distribution still suspended after Israeli hostage operation

Children line up to receive food at a UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) school in the Jabalia camp for Palestinian refugees in the northern Gaza Strip on Monday.
Children line up to receive food at a UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) school in the Jabalia camp for Palestinian refugees in the northern Gaza Strip on Monday.  © Omar AL-QATTAA / AFP

In another challenge to efforts to deliver aid by sea, the UN World Food Program has suspended the distribution of assistance that arrives via the pier to assess the security situation.

The move came after Israel conducted a military operation nearby that freed four hostages but which Gaza's health ministry said killed more than 270 Palestinians.

Gaza is suffering through a war that broke out after Hamas's unprecedented October 7 attack on Israel resulted in the deaths of 1,194 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli official figures.

The militants also seized hostages, 116 of whom remain in Gaza, although the army says 41 are dead.

Israel's retaliatory offensive in Gaza has killed at least 37,431 people, also mostly civilians, according to the territory's health ministry.

Cover photo: AFP

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