US aid pier in Gaza reestablished after storm damage

AFP , Friday 7 Jun 2024

The United States on Friday reestablished a temporary pier to boost aid deliveries into Gaza after the structure suffered storm damage and underwent repairs in a nearby port, the country's military said.

Gaza US pier
File photo: The image provided by USCENTCOM, shows US Army soldiers assigned to the 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary), US Navy sailors assigned to Amphibious Construction Battalion 1, and Israeli Army forces placing the Trident Pier on the coast of Gaza Strip on May 16, 2024. AP


Gaza has been devastated by Israel's bloodiest-ever war on Gaza, now entering their ninth month, uprooting the Palestinian territory's population and bringing them to the brink of starvation.

"US Central Command (CENTCOM) successfully reestablished the temporary pier in Gaza, enabling the continued delivery of much-needed humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza," the military command responsible for the Middle East said in a social media post.

Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, deputy head of CENTCOM, told journalists that "we expect to resume delivery of humanitarian assistance from the sea in the coming days."

"The policy of no US boots on the ground does remain in effect," so Israeli forces assisted with the process on shore, Cooper said.

"The Israeli Defense Force engineers were the enabling force on the beach," he said. "This is the same unit that we trained several months ago in how to conduct this operation. They conducted it flawlessly this morning."

More than two million pounds of humanitarian aid were delivered via the pier last month, but it was damaged by high seas around a week after deliveries began.

Air drops to resume

"Aid from the pier to the people of Gaza was the second-highest volume of aid entering Gaza from any crossing during that period," Cooper said.

"Given its proven success, we expect to increase the volume of humanitarian assistance," he said.

The pier was repaired in the Israeli port of Ashdod before being brought back to the Gaza coast and reestablished on Friday.

Israel's relentless bombardment and ground invasion has killed at least 36,731 Palestinians in Gaza and wounded more than 80,000 others, mostly women and children, according to the Gaza health ministry.

Israel has imposed a siege on Gaza, depriving the territory's 2.4 million people of clean water, food, medicines and fuel.

US President Joe Biden first announced plans for the pier in early March as Israel prevented trucks from delivering aid through its land crossings into Gaza.

The United States has also delivered assistance by air, but the air drops were suspended due to fighting in northern Gaza.

"We do expect those to resume here in the coming days," Cooper said.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online

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