Gaza Aid Deliveries Suspended After Pier Damaged

Pentagon says US-built pier will be out of action for more than a week
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 28, 2024 2:01 PM CDT
Gaza Aid Deliveries Suspended After Pier Damaged
A US Army landing craft is seen beached in Ashdod on Sunday, May 26, 2024, after being swept by wind and current from the temporary humanitarian pier in the Gaza Strip.   (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

A pier taking humanitarian aid to starving Palestinians will be removed from the coast of Gaza to be repaired after getting damaged in rough seas and weather, the Pentagon said Tuesday. Over the next two days, the pier will be pulled out and sent to the southern Israeli city of Ashdod, where US Central Command will repair it, Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh told reporters. She said the fixes will take "at least over a week" and then the pier will need to be anchored back into the beach in Gaza, the AP reports The Joint Logistics Over The Shore, or JLOTS, pier began operations in the past two weeks and had provided an additional way to get critically needed food to Gaza.

  • The setback is the latest for the $320 million pier, which has already had three US service member injuries and had four of its vessels beached due to heavy seas. Deliveries were also halted for two days last week after crowds rushed aid trucks coming from the pier and a Palestinian man was shot dead. The US military worked with the UN and Israeli officials to select safer alternate routes for trucks, the Pentagon said Friday.

  • The pier was fully functional as late as Saturday when heavy seas unmoored four of the Army boats that were being used to ferry pallets of aid from commercial vessels to the pier, which was anchored into the beach and provided a long causeway for trucks to drive that aid onto the shore. Two of the vessels were beached on Gaza and two others on the coast of Israel near Ashkelon.
  • Before the weather damage and suspension, the pier had begun to pick up steam and as of Friday more than 820 metric tons of food aid had been delivered from the sea onto the Gaza beach via the pier.
  • US officials have repeatedly emphasized that the pier cannot provide the amount of aid that starving Gazans need and stressed that more checkpoints for humanitarian trucks need to be opened.
  • A deepening Israeli offensive in the southern city of Rafah has made it impossible for aid shipments to get through the crossing there. The Wall Street Journal reports that according to witnesses, Israeli tanks pushed deeper into Rafah on Tuesday, passing the Al-Awda mosque, a central landmark in the city.

(More Israel-Hamas war stories.)

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