Rough seas have once again hindered the US-built Gaza Pier

The US military said Friday it would temporarily move a US-built pier off the coast of Gaza to deliver aid to the war-torn enclave, where global health authorities say there is “catastrophic hunger” and malnutrition. to prevent it from being damaged in rough seas. Just a week ago, the military said the pier had been repaired and reattached to the Gaza coast after it broke due to turbulence.

“The decision to temporarily move the pier was not taken lightly, but is necessary to ensure that the temporary pier can continue to provide aid in the future,” the minister said. United States Central Command he said in a social media post, noting that the dock would be towed to Israel. The post added that the pier would be “quickly re-anchored” off the coast of Gaza once the expected turbulence passed.

This transfer is the latest blow to US efforts to facilitate the delivery of aid by sea to Gaza.

President Biden announced construction of the pier in March, the U.S. military worked on it in April, and it anchored off the coast of Gaza in mid-May as the flow of food and supplies across land borders accelerated. partly interrupted following the Israeli attack. incursion into Rafah, the southernmost city of the enclave. Aid shipments by sea began immediately after the dock became operational, but they fell far short of what aid groups said were needed to address the staggering levels of hunger and deprivation in Gaza.

The pier was damaged by rough seas in late May and had to be taken out of service. It was repaired earlier this month but only works intermittently. The latest announcement suspending operations came just days after a Pentagon spokeswoman, Sabrina Singh, said the pier was operational again after a hiatus “due to high seas conditions.”

Since May, about 7.7 million pounds of aid has passed through the sea corridor for distribution to Gaza, US Central Command said in its message on Friday. But it is unclear how much of these supplies reaches Gazans.

Delivery from the pier to the warehouses in Gaza also faces obstacles. Cindy McCain, executive director of the World Food Programme, said Sunday that the agency's work near the dock had been suspended because she said some of its facilities were hit during Israel's rescue of four hostages on Monday. June 8, an operation that killed dozens of Palestinians, including women and children.

“I am concerned about the safety of our people,” Mrs. McCain told CBS News. The World Food Programme, a United Nations agency, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.

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