A US official says aid is being delivered to Gaza from a repaired pier in the US

WASHINGTON (AP) — The first aid from a U.S.-built naval pier arrived in Gaza on Saturday since damage to the project required repairs to the project, the U.S. military said, resuming efforts to deliver supplies to the Palestinians by sea. Suffering from problems.

The pier, built by the US Army, was operational for about a week before it was put into operation In strong winds and rough seas On May 25th. There was a damaged section Reconnecting with the beach In Gaza on Friday after being repaired at an Israeli port.

About 1.1 million pounds (492 metric tons) of humanitarian aid was delivered to Gaza via the dock on Saturday, US Central Command said. He said in a statement. He reiterated that no American military personnel had landed on the beach in Gaza. USAID is working with the United Nations World Food Program and their humanitarian partners in Gaza to distribute food and other aid coming from the US-operated dock.

The handovers came on the same day that Israel launched massive air and ground strikes The attack that saved four hostagesWho was kidnapped by Hamas during the October 7 attack that led to the launch of the war on Gaza. A health official in Gaza said that at least 210 Palestinians, including children, were killed.

Responding to Social Media Allegations, U.S. Central Command He said in a tweet Neither the dock nor any of its equipment, personnel or other assets were used in the Israeli operation. She indicated that Israel used the area south of the pier “to safely return the hostages.”

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“The temporary dock on the Gaza coast was established for one purpose only: to help transport much-needed additional life-saving aid to Gaza,” the US military said.

The US Agency for International Development said in a separate statement that no humanitarian workers were involved in the Israeli operation.

“Humanitarian relief workers in Gaza are working in extremely difficult and unsafe conditions and must be protected,” the agency said via email. “Aid workers work in accordance with the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence.”

The movement of aid through the dock is one way to deliver food and other urgently needed emergency supplies to Palestinians trapped on board the eight-month-old ship. Israel-Hamas war. Israeli restrictions on land crossings and fighting have significantly reduced the flow of food and other vital supplies into the Strip.

The damage to the pier was the latest stumbling block for the project and the ongoing struggle to obtain food Hungry Palestinians. Three American service members were injured, one of them in serious condition, and four ships were anchored on the beach due to the heavy sea waves.

Early efforts to deliver aid from the pier to the Gaza Strip were also disrupted due to overcrowding A convoy of trucks invaded Which aid agencies were using to transport food, leading to many being stripped of cargo before they could reach a UN warehouse. Officials responded by changing travel routes, and aid began reaching those in need.

Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, deputy commander of U.S. Central Command, told reporters on Friday that lessons learned from the first week of operations made him confident that larger amounts of aid could be delivered now.

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The goal, he said, is to deliver 1 million pounds of food and other supplies via the dock into Gaza every two days. So far, about 3.5 million pounds of humanitarian aid has been delivered via the sea route, Central Command said on Saturday.

Aid agencies have pressured Israel to reopen land routes that can transport all the required aid. Israel says it allowed hundreds of trucks to enter through a southern checkpoint and points the finger at the United Nations for not distributing aid. The United Nations says it is often unable to retrieve aid due to the security situation.

United Nations agencies have warned that more than a million Palestinians in Gaza may be exposed to this crisis Highest level of starvation By the middle of next month if hostilities continue.

President Joe Biden’s administration has said from the beginning that the dock was not meant to be a comprehensive solution and that no amount of aid helps.

Biden, a Democrat, announced His plan for the US Army to build a dock during His State of the Union address In early March, the Army said it would take about 60 days to install and operate it. It took a little longer than planned, though The first trucks loaded with aid Of the Gaza Strip rolling onto the sidewalk on May 17.

The initial cost was estimated at $320 million, but the Pentagon said last week that the price had been reduced to $230 million, due to British contributions and because the cost of contracting for the trucks and other equipment was lower than expected.

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