Monday, June 17, 2024

US-constructed Gaza aid pier loses support as vessels wash away in rough seas | News on Israel-Palestine dispute

US Central Command reports vessels swept away from Gaza aid pier

Waves Sweep Away US-Built Pier Supporting Aid to Gaza

In a dramatic turn of events, waves have swept away vessels supporting the United States-built pier installed to transfer aid to Gaza, according to the US Central Command (CENTCOM). The incident occurred during the transportation of humanitarian aid when the US floating dock was disconnected from the small boat tugging it, causing the vessels to break free from their moorings.

Of the four vessels involved, two are now anchored on the beach near the pier, while part of the dock drifted towards Israel’s Ashdod shore. The remaining vessels beached on the coast of Israel near Ashkelon. Fortunately, no injuries have been reported, and efforts are underway to recover the vessels with assistance from the Israeli and US navies.

Despite the mishap, the Pentagon has assured that the pier remains fully functional and emphasized that no US personnel will enter Gaza during the operation. The construction of the $320 million floating pier was completed in mid-May to provide aid to the Gaza Strip. However, the pier has faced criticism for being a complicated and costly alternative to opening all land crossings to Gaza for aid deliveries.

In related news, the World Food Programme (WFP) has already taken possession of 97 trucks since the floating dock became operational. The situation is said to have stabilized after a rocky start, with calls for massive aid to be delivered through land routes. US President Joe Biden had previously announced plans for the pier to receive large shipments carrying food, water, medicine, and temporary shelter, seen as an effort to appease his party’s base as he seeks re-election in November.

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