Sunday, July 21, 2024

US to permanently dismantle ‘aid pier’ after successive failures: Report

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A US military pier constructed two months ago to facilitate humanitarian aid into Gaza is set to be permanently dismantled within the next few days, according to a recent report.

The pier, which was removed earlier to avoid bad weather, would be reconnected to the Gaza coastline on Wednesday (July 10) but it will be functional for just the next few days before being disassembled by the US army and navy, according to a report in The Associated Press (AP).

The AP, citing unnamed officials, reported that the pier will be reinstalled temporarily to move humanitarian supplies that have accumulated in Cyprus and on a floating dock offshore since it was dismantled due to bad weather conditions on June 28.

Notably the pier proposal was first introduced by US President Joe Biden in March. The pier was a temporary measure for allowing the aid across land crossings by Israel.

Since being positioned on May 17, the pier has been operational for fewer than 20 days. During most of that time, aid deliveries were merely unloaded on the beach and not distributed throughout Gaza due to security concerns.

It is worth mentioning here, that the World Food Programme (WFP) suspended distribution convoys on 9 June, after the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) conducted hostage rescue operation that saved four Israeli hostages but resulted in the deaths of 274 Palestinians.

During its two months of operation, approximately 8,800 metric tons of aid, around 500 truckloads have been unloaded off the pier. This amount is equivalent to a single day’s delivery before the war began.

Land deliveries have declined significantly since Israel launched an offensive on the southern border city of Rafah in May. 

According to UN figures, the number of trucks entering Gaza decreased from 840 in May to 756 in June and has dropped to only 18 so far in July.

(With inputs from agencies)

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