Americas, Middle East

US to 'temporarily' remove Gaza pier due to high seas

'Decision to temporarily relocate pier is not made lightly but is necessary to ensure temporary pier can continue to deliver aid in future,' says Central Command

Diyar Guldogan  | 15.06.2024 - Update : 15.06.2024
US to 'temporarily' remove Gaza pier due to high seas


The US will "temporarily" remove a humanitarian pier off the coast of the Gaza Strip because of expected high seas, Central Command (CENTCOM) said Friday.

"Today, due to expected high seas, the temporary pier will be removed from its anchored position in Gaza and towed back to Ashdod, Israel," CENTCOM wrote on X.

The safety of US service members is a "top priority" and "temporarily relocating" the pier will prevent structural damage caused by the heightened sea state, it added.

"The decision to temporarily relocate the pier is not made lightly but is necessary to ensure the temporary pier can continue to deliver aid in the future," it said, adding after the high seas, the pier will be rapidly reanchored to Gaza and resume delivering humanitarian aid.

The US had resumed delivery of humanitarian aid via the pier, which was suspended over the weekend because of rough seas.

The JLOTS -- the floating pier and the Trident pier -- became operational May 17 when trucks carrying humanitarian assistance began moving ashore via the pier.

Since May 17, more than 3,500 metric tons (3,858 tons) have been delivered through the maritime corridor for delivery by humanitarian organizations, said CENTCOM.

Following the recent Israeli hostage operation in Gaza, the World Food Program (WFP) announced it paused delivery of humanitarian aid via the pier because of concerns for the safety of staff.

The UN said Friday that the WFP has not been able to report any resumption of activities.

"And our security colleagues are still working to ensure that secure conditions for humanitarian work can be re-established," deputy spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters.

US President Joe Biden ordered the establishment of a sea route to deliver food and other aid to Palestinians on March 8 amid Israeli restrictions and months of conflict in the enclave.

The initial cost of the pier was estimated at $320 million. But the Pentagon said the price had dropped to $230 million due to contributions from the UK and because the cost of contracting trucks and other equipment was "lower than expected."

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