UN halts food distribution from U.S.-built pier in Gaza due to safety concerns
06/13/2024 // Laura Harris // Views

The United Nations' World Food Program (WFP) has suspended food distribution operations from the floating pier built by the United States in central Gaza due to safety concerns for its staff.

The floating pier, a project President Joe Biden announced in March, was supposed to facilitate the safe transfer of aid to Gaza. However, the pier, completed on May 16, was only operational for a week due to several troubles. First, storm damage halted its use, and when repairs were finalized on June 7, the ongoing conflict interrupted the food distribution again.

In response, the WFP's regional branch overseeing operations in the Middle East and North Africa has decided to suspend work coming from the pier following reports of rockets hitting the aid group's warehouse nearby.

"The group is temporarily pausing operations at the floating dock for a UN security assessment to ensure staff & partners’ safety," the WFP regional branch posted on X. (Related: U.S.-built floating pier in Gaza reopens after undergoing repairs that cost millions.)

Cindy McCain, the program director of WFP, disclosed on June 9 that rockets hit two of the agency's warehouses in the enclave when the Israeli Military Defenses (IDF) launched an assault on a refugee camp in central Gaza to rescue hostages held by Hamas on June 8.

Four Israeli captives were freed during the operation, but more than 270 people were killed and one of their staff members was injured. As a result, McCain stated that the group had to "step back" to ensure they were "on safe ground."

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U.S. officials deny involvement in the IDF operation

The same day Israel mounted a heavy air and ground assault, the U.S. delivered badly needed aid to Gaza.

On June 8, a video that circulated online showed an IDF helicopter taking off from a beach with the U.S. pier in the background. However, two U.S. officials immediately disclaimed their involvement in the IDF operation. One U.S. official even clarified that the helicopter landed on a beach south of the facility, outside the area cordoned off for the pier.

"The pier facility was not used in the operation to rescue hostages today in Gaza. An area south of the facility was used to safely return the hostages to Israel," a U.S. official said. "Any such claim to the contrary is false. The temporary pier on the coast of Gaza was put in place for one purpose only, to help get more urgently needed lifesaving assistance into Gaza."

The U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) also reiterated the statement released later that same day. CENTCOM stressed that "the pier facility, including its equipment, personnel, and assets, was not used in the operation to rescue hostages in Gaza today."

The U.S. acknowledged that the military action took place "near" the floating pier but described any potential damage as "incidental." Pentagon spokesperson Patrick Ryder clarified on June 10 that the pier "had nothing to do with the [Israeli military] rescue operation."

"It was near, but I think it’s incidental. Again, the pier, the equipment, the personnel all supporting that humanitarian effort had nothing to do with the [Israeli military] rescue operation," Ryder said.

Follow Humanitarian.news for more stories about the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Watch the video below about the U.S. military building a pier in Gaza to assist in the flow of aid.

This video is from the GalacticStorm channel on Brighteon.com.

More related stories:

Biden: U.S. to build FLOATING PIER along Gaza coast to improve aid delivery.

Desperate, starving Palestinians resorting to intercepting aid delivered to Gaza via American “floating pier.”

Construction of U.S. military floating pier off Gaza nearly complete.

U.S. Navy vessels attached to floating pier off Gaza coast dislodged by storm, grounded on nearby beaches.

U.S. completes installation of makeshift pier in Gaza; first load of humanitarian assistance moves ashore.

Sources include:






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