US humanitarian pier reanchored to the coast of Gaza

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The U.S. military reanchored its temporary humanitarian pier off the coast of Gaza, less than a week after detaching it ahead of high seas, a defense official said.

Despite again being attached to the coast, the pier isn’t yet shipping aid. The official didn’t offer a timeline for when those deliveries would restart. But they’re expected soon.

Even when they do, the aid rolling into Gaza won’t immediately reach the Palestinian people — more than 1 million of whom face “catastrophic levels of hunger,” according to the United Nations World Food Programme.

The WFP is responsible for distributing the humanitarian support but paused its deliveries June 9 due to concerns over worker safety. A day before, Executive Director Cindy McCain said, two warehouses had been hit by rockets, leaving one worker injured.

In the meantime, the crates moving from the pier into Gaza are only filling the nearby storage sites.

Following its completion in mid-May, the pier has been a debacle for the U.S. military. It was damaged by stormy weather little over a week later, leaving it out of commission until June 8. U.S. Central Command announced it would detach the pier last week, expecting rough seas that might again cause damage.

In addition, multiple U.S. service members have sustained noncombatant injuries while working on the humanitarian site.

Since its installation, the pier has only been operational for about 10 days and delivered 3,500 metric tons of aid for further transport the aid into Gaza, according to Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh. The Pentagon insists that the pier is a “temporary measure” and that a sufficient amount of aid can only come through land routes into Gaza.

Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said in a briefing that he doesn’t have a date on when the pier will cease operations.

Aside from weather conditions, another concern is when the WFP will resume their distribution.

The same day WFP warehouses were rocketed, an Israeli-held raid rescued four hostages and killed at least 274 Palestinians, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, which is run by the terrorist group Hamas. The Israeli rescue unit used an area near the pier during its operation, leading WFP to conduct a security review on whether they can safely continue operations.

McCain said in a CBS “Face the Nation” interview that she is unsure how the warehouses got rocketed since they are “deconflicted” from the Israeli military.

In a briefing with reporters last week, Ryder affirmed multiple times that the Israeli Defense Forces used no part of the pier or humanitarian staging ground to launch its hostage-rescue operation.

Cristina Stassis is an editorial fellow for Defense News and Military Times, where she covers stories surrounding the defense industry, national security, military/veteran affairs and more. She is currently studying journalism and mass communication and international affairs at the George Washington University.

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