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Aid Pier Reattached to Gaza Shore, Will Soon Resume Traffic: CENTCOM

Humanitarian Airdrops into Gaza (U.S. Air Forces Central/Released)
June 07, 2024

The U.S. humanitarian aid pier has been reattached to the Gaza shoreline and will soon return to operational capacity, the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) announced on Friday.

The humanitarian aid, constructed and operated by the U.S. military, had seen setbacks in reaching its initial operational capacity. Following delays, the U.S. military finally attached the makeshift pier to the Gaza shoreline and began sending truckloads of aid through the delivery point on May 17. Eight days later, a storm blew in and broke the pier apart, forcing the military to detach and haul the structure away to the coastal Israeli city of Ashdod for repairs.

Speaking with reporters during a press call on Friday, June 7, U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, the deputy commander of CENTCOM, announced the repairs U.S. forces had successfully repaired the pier and returned it to the Gaza shoreline.

“Earlier this morning in Gaza, U.S. forces successfully attached the temporary pier to the Gaza beach,” Cooper said. “We expect to resume delivery of humanitarian assistance from the sea in the coming days.”

Cooper also gave assurances that the newly repaired pier would soon be able to facilitate increased traffic, allowing delivery of about half a million pounds of food and humanitarian supplies (250 tons) daily. By comparison, the pier was able to accommodate 1,000 tons of supplies in the first eight days it was operational before the storm hit.

The U.S. Department of Defense has previously estimated the humanitarian aid pier would cost about $320 million to bring it to its initial operational capacity. At a press briefing on Thursday, Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh revised the cost for the pier down to $230 million, citing lower-than-expected costs for contracted trucks, drivers, and commercial vessels, and the United Kingdom’s decision to donate a support vessel for the effort. Singh said this downward revision included the repair costs after the pier broke apart on May 25, but she didn’t elaborate further on the cost breakdown.

The pier is part of an ongoing U.S. effort to ensure humanitarian support for Gaza’s civilian population as the Israeli military campaign reaches the eight-month mark.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) estimates a daily average of 500 truckloads of supplies was needed to sustain the Gaza Strip’s population before the current conflict. Since Oct. 7, UNRWA reports 25,746 truckloads of supplies have reached the Gaza Strip through land crossings in the past 244 days; an average of about 105 per day throughout the conflict.

UNRWA’s latest assessment indicates about 1,656 truckloads of supplies reached the Gaza Strip through a pair of land crossings in May, for an average of about 53 truckloads of supplies per day. 170 truckloads of supplies have reached the Gaza Strip through those land crossings thus far in June, for an average of 24 trucks per day.

This article was originally published by FreeBase News and is reprinted with permission.