Americas, Middle East

US once again pauses Gaza aid pier operations amid halt to distribution

Halt to operations being enacted for 'scheduled maintenance activities,' says US Central Command

Michael Hernandez  | 24.06.2024 - Update : 24.06.2024
US once again pauses Gaza aid pier operations amid halt to distribution


The US is once again pausing its operations at a temporary pier meant to facilitate humanitarian aid deliveries to the besieged Gaza Strip, saying Monday that the latest halt is being enacted for "scheduled maintenance activities."

"United States Central Command (U.S. CENTCOM) personnel continue to support the multinational, USAID-led mission to deliver much-needed humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians. DOD operations have continued uninterrupted since re-anchoring the temporary pier to the beach in Gaza on June 19," Central Command said in a statement on X.

It was referring to the resumption of operations after the Joint Logistics, Over-the-Shore Trident pier broke apart in rough seas in the eastern Mediterranean in late May when several American support ships also became beached on the Gaza and Israeli coastlines.

US authorities downgraded the official price tag for the temporary pier shortly after the debacle, trimming off $90 million from the official estimate, and putting it at $230 million.

The US military has assessed that some 6,206 metric tons of aid has transited the pier since it became operational May 17. CENTCOM said that material was transported to what it calls "the marshaling area" for collection by "humanitarian organizations for onward distribution."

"This humanitarian operation is made possible by our continued partnership with the United Nations and many international and regional partners," it said.

Those international partners, however, have continued to warn that they are unable to move that aid on for forward distribution due to security concerns prompted by Israel's ongoing attacks.

The World Food Programme, the UN's main food assistance agency that is principally responsible for distributing aid from the marshalling area, "temproarily" paused its operations June 10 amid an ongoing security review caused by an Israeli rescue operation that freed four hostages, but killed nearly 300 Palestinians.

Two WFP warehouses were struck by rocket fire during the attack.

"So we've stepped back just for the moment to make sure that we're on safe terms, and on safe ground before we'll restart. But the rest of the country is operational. We're doing everything we can in the north and the south," Cindy McCain, the group's director, said during an interview with American television network CBS's Face the Nation program.

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