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WHO official: US-built pier in Gaza not sufficient in delivering aid to Palestinians

The reconnected U.S.-built pier off the coast of the Gaza Strip cannot supply Palestinians with anywhere near the level of aid they need, the head of the World Health Organization’s Eastern Mediterranean region said Monday.

Dr. Hanan Balkhy made the remarks after the U.S. military began delivering aid through the floating pier again, after it was removed a second time because of rough seas.

“The pier has supported a little bit, but it’s not to the scale that is needed by any stretch of the imagination,” Balkhy told The Associated Press in an interview. “So we need to emphasize on the land routes to ensure the amount and the quantity and the efficiency.”

The organization says that since Israel launched its ground operation into Rafah, aid delivery had declined by 67 percent, with over 50 WHO trucks stuck on the Egyptian side of the crossing into the southern city. Meanwhile, just three trucks were allowed into Gaza through the Kerem Shalom crossing.

Israel says it has allowed hundreds of truckloads of aid through the crossing, but says the U.N. has failed to pick it up. The U.N. says it is too dangerous for trucks to move through the area due to rampant lawlessness.

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