Home News US aid terminal in Gaza damaged by heavy waves

US aid terminal in Gaza damaged by heavy waves

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A makeshift dock built by the U.S. military to deliver much-needed humanitarian aid to Gaza broke apart in rough seas, the Pentagon said Tuesday.

The latest disaster at the dock construction project adds to a particularly dire situation in Gaza in recent days, as Israeli forces stepped up their assault on the city of Rafah just two days after launching an assault on the city. Critical Strike Dozens of people were killed.

“Unfortunately, we had a severe surface storm at sea and then, as I just said, a weather system coming in from North Africa at the same time that created a less than ideal operating environment,” Pentagon deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh said at a news conference.

Army engineers are working to put the pier back together, and Defense Department officials hope it will be “fully operational in a little over a week,” she said.

In early March, President Biden announced that the U.S. military would build a port for Gaza, which surprised the Pentagon. Defense Department officials immediately predicted that there would be Logistical and safety issues.

Within days of the terminal opening on May 17, trucks were robbed on their way to the warehouse, forcing the United Nations World Food Programme to Suspension of operationsAfter officials stepped up security, the weather turned nasty. U.S. officials had hoped the waves wouldn’t start until late summer.

Rough seas forced two small U.S. warships involved in the dock operation to run aground in Israel on Saturday. On Sunday, a portion of the dock completely broke off, including the wider berthing area used to unload ships carrying supplies, according to officials. That section had to be reattached.

Ms. Singh said the pier was damaged in rough seas and is being removed from the Gaza coast for repair. In the next two days, the pier will be towed out and transported to Ashdod in southern Israel for repair.

She said the fact that the $320 million terminal was able to deliver 1,000 metric tons of aid to Gaza before it broke apart was proof that the terminal was effective.

White House policy does not allow for a U.S. military presence in Gaza, so the Pentagon was able to begin but not complete the mission.

The quay construction woes come as the situation in Gaza remains dire, with 34,000 people dead and 77,000 injured, according to Gaza health officials, before Israel launched its deadly assault on Sunday.

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