U.S.-Built Humanitarian Pier in Gaza to Undergo Repairs After Storm Damage

U.S.-Built Humanitarian Pier in Gaza to Undergo Repairs After Storm Damage

According to an article by Tara Copp from the Associated Press, published on May 28, 2024, a U.S.-built temporary pier used for delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza is set to be removed and repaired due to storm damage. The pier, vital for supplying food and water to Palestinians amid the conflict between Israel and Hamas, will be taken to Ashdod, Israel, for repairs by U.S. Central Command. The repairs are expected to take at least a week, after which the pier will be re-anchored off Gaza’s coast.

The pier has been crucial in delivering aid, given the inaccessibility of other routes due to ongoing fighting. Southern Gaza’s main crossings, Rafah from Egypt and Kerem Shalom from Israel, are largely non-operational due to the conflict. Thus, the pier and the northern Gaza crossings have been the primary channels for aid.

Since becoming operational two weeks ago, the $320 million pier has faced multiple challenges, including injuries to three U.S. service members and the beaching of four military vessels due to severe weather. Two service members sustained minor injuries, while the third remains in critical condition. Additionally, aid deliveries were temporarily halted due to a fatal incident involving crowds rushing aid trucks.

The pier was fully operational until high seas caused four Army boats to break free, beaching two on the Israeli coast and two on the Gaza coast. Recovery efforts for these vessels are ongoing, with assistance from the Israeli military.

Despite these setbacks, the new sea route had managed to deliver over 1,000 metric tons of food aid. However, U.S. officials emphasized that the pier alone cannot meet Gaza’s humanitarian needs, capable of providing food for 500,000 people out of a population of approximately 2.3 million. More open land crossings are needed to facilitate aid distribution.

The U.S. plans to continue food airdrops, although these are also insufficient to meet all needs. The escalating Israeli offensive in Rafah further complicates aid deliveries, as military operations hinder access to key crossings like Kerem Shalom.

The temporary suspension of the pier underscores the challenges of delivering humanitarian aid in conflict zones. Robust and secure aid channels are essential to prevent further deterioration of living conditions for vulnerable populations. As repairs proceed, there is hope that the pier will soon resume its critical role in providing much-needed relief to the people of Gaza.

This summary is based on the article "US-built pier will be removed from Gaza coast, repaired after damage" by Tara Copp, published by the Associated Press on May 28, 2024. For further details, please refer to the original article.

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