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Aid flowing after repaired U.S.-built pier in Gaza reconnected

Updated June 8, 2024 - 7:01 pm

WASHINGTON —The first aid from an American-built pier arrived in Gaza on Saturday since storm damage required repairs to the project, the U.S. military said.

The U.S. military-built pier designed to carry aid into Gaza by boat was reconnected to the beach in the territory after a section broke apart in storms and rough seas, U.S. Central Command had said Friday.

The section that connects to the beach in Gaza, the causeway, was rebuilt nearly two weeks after heavy storms damaged it and halted what had already been a troubled delivery route.

“Earlier this morning in Gaza, U.S. forces successfully attached the temporary pier to the Gaza beach,” Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, deputy commander of U.S. Central Command, told reporters by phone Friday.

Cooper said operations at the reconnected pier will be ramped up soon with a goal to get 1 million pounds of food and other supplies moving through the pier into Gaza every two days.

The pier was only operational for a week before a storm broke it apart and had initially struggled to reach delivery goals.

Weather was a factor, and early efforts to get aid from the pier into Gaza were disrupted as civilians stormed the trucks that aid agencies were using to transport the food to the warehouses for distribution.

However, before it broke apart, the pier had been gradually increasing aid movement each day. Cooper said Friday that the lessons learned from that initial week of operations made him confident higher levels of aid throughout could be attained now.

The U.S. Agency for International Development said in a statement it was working with other U.S. government colleagues and humanitarian partners on the ground in Gaza to ensure that aid from the pier “can safely and effectively resume movement, which we expect in the coming days.”

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