US aid to Gaza is stalling as the military pier is temporarily removed from the coast for repairs

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A US-built temporary pier used to deliver additional humanitarian aid to Gaza was damaged by rough seas and has temporarily suspended operations. File | Photo credit: AP

A pier built by the US military off the coast of Gaza will be temporarily removed after part of the structure was demolished, the Pentagon said on Tuesday, in the latest blow to efforts to deliver humanitarian aid to the Palestinians.

The pier was announced by US President Joe Biden in March and involved the military erecting the floating structure off the coast. The project, which is estimated to cost $320 million for the first 90 days and involve approximately 1,000 U.S. military personnel, went into service two weeks ago.

Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh said part of the pier had become detached and that the pier would be towed to Israel’s Ashdod port for repairs in the next 48 hours.

Singh added that the repair of the pier would take more than a week and then returned to his place off the coast of Gaza.

US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters earlier on Tuesday that bad weather was believed to be the reason the section of the pier was demolished.

Since the pier opened, the United Nations has transported 137 trucks of aid from the pier – the equivalent of 900 tonnes – a spokesperson for the UN World Food Program said.

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