US army says first aid delivered to Gaza via temporary pier

AFP , Friday 17 May 2024

The US army said aid deliveries began Friday via a temporary pier in Gaza aimed at ramping up emergency humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian territory, war-ravaged by Israel.

Humanitarian aid is lifted by a crane operated by Soldiers assigned to the 7th Transportation Brigad
Humanitarian aid is lifted by a crane operated by Soldiers assigned to the 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary) from a Navy causeway at the Port of Ashdod, Israel. AFP


"Today at approximately 9 a.m. (Gaza time), trucks carrying humanitarian assistance began moving ashore via a temporary pier in Gaza," the US Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a statement, adding that no US troops went ashore.

"This is an ongoing, multinational effort to deliver additional aid to Palestinian civilians in Gaza via a maritime corridor that is entirely humanitarian in nature," it said.

The pier was anchored on Thursday, with around 500 tonnes of aid expected to enter the Gaza Strip in the coming days.

Photos released on Thursday by CENTCOM showed humanitarian aid being lifted onto a barge in the nearby Israeli port of Ashdod.

The Palestinian territory is facing famine after an Israeli siege brought dire shortages of food as well as safe water, medicines and fuel for its 2.4 million people.

The arrival of occasional aid convoys has slowed to a trickle since Israeli forces took control last week of the Gaza side of the Rafah crossing.

Still, humanitarian workers say aid coming by sea won’t be enough to alleviate the dire humanitarian suffering in Gaza and that the most effective way to get assistance in is by land.

The UN has said that opening up land crossing points and allowing more truck convoys into Gaza is the only way to stem the spiralling humanitarian crisis.

Israel's devastating war has killed at least 35,272 people, mostly civilians, according to the health ministry.

Short link: