June 13th, 2024

Aid is delivered to Gaza from newly repaired US-built pier, US official says

By Ellen Knickmeyer And Tara Copp, The Associated Press on June 8, 2024.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Badly needed aid has been delivered to Gaza from a newly repaired American-built pier, a U.S. official said Saturday, following problems that had plagued the effort to bring supplies to Palestinians by sea.

The pier constructed by the American military was only operational for about a week before it was blown apart in high winds and heavy seas on May 25. The damaged section was reconnected to the beach in Gaza on Friday after undergoing repairs at an Israeli port.

Crews delivered about 1.1 million pounds (492 metric tons) of humanitarian aid to Gaza via the pier on Saturday, the U.S. official said. They spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of an official announcement of the delivery.

It came the same day that Israel mounted a heavy air and ground assault that rescued four hostages, who had been taken by Hamas during the Oct. 7 assault that launched the war in Gaza. At least 210 Palestinians, including children, were killed, a Gaza health official said.

It brings back online one way to get desperately needed food and other emergency supplies to Palestinians trapped by the eight-month-old Israel-Hamas war. Israeli restrictions on land crossings, and fighting, have greatly limited the flow of food and other vital supplies into the territory.

The damage to the pier was the latest stumbling block for the project and the persistent struggle to get food to starving Palestinians. Three U.S. service members were injured, one critically, and four vessels were beached due to heavy seas.

Early efforts to get aid from the pier into the Gaza Strip were disrupted as crowds overran a convoy of trucks that aid agencies were using to transport the food, stripping the cargo from many of them before they could reach a U.N. warehouse. Officials responded by altering the travel routes, and aid began reaching those in need.

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