Four US Army vessels run aground near Gaza pier: CENTCOM

AFP , Sunday 26 May 2024

Four US Army vessels supporting the temporary pier built to deliver aid to Gaza have run aground in heavy seas, US Central Command (CENTCOM) said Saturday.

American soldiers look on as a digger attempts to extricate a US Army vessel at that ran aground at a beach in Israel s coastal city of Ashdod,May 2024. AFP


"The vessels broke free from their moorings and two vessels are now anchored on the beach near the pier. The third and fourth vessels are beached on the coast of Israel near Ashkelon," the statement said.

"No US personnel will enter Gaza. No injuries have been reported and the pier remains fully functional," it continued, adding that the Israeli navy is assisting with recovering the vessels.

US President Joe Biden had said in March the pier would be built to alleviate restrictions imposed by Israel on aid delivery by land to Gaza.

The UN World Food Programme "took possession of 97 trucks since the floating dock came into operation" on May 17, Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN chief Antonio Guterres, told reporters on Friday.

In the first few days of deliveries, desperate people made off with the contents of some trucks heading to warehouses, but the situation has now stabilized, he said.

CENTCOM said 1,005 metric tons of aid had been delivered from the sea to the beach transfer point as of Friday, with 903 metric tons distributed from the transfer point to the UN warehouse.

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