Gaza Aid Crisis: US Halts Shipments for Third Time in a Month

Gaza Aid Crisis US Halts Shipments for Third Time in a Month

In order to weather the high seas and choppy waves that are predicted to pound the region in the coming days, the U.S. Navy is temporarily relocating the floating structure to an Israeli port and suspending operations of its pier off Gaza once more, officials announced on Friday.

It’s the third time in a month that weather-related closures of the pier have forced military authorities to suspend assistance delivery, and it represents the most recent blow to the grand $230 million humanitarian effort involving 1,000 US Marines.

The dock had to be moved in order to save the building from being damaged, according to U.S. Central Command, which is in charge of the military stationed there.

“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,” as per CENTCOM’s tweet on Friday. “After the period of expected high seas, the pier will be rapidly re-anchored to the coast of Gaza and resume delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza.”

To make matters worse, relief supplies that had been brought ashore through the pier are being stored at a nearby facility after the UN ceased supplies last week on security concerns. The UN stated on Friday that it does not have a timetable for when supplies could be restored.

The challenges arise from the fact that the United States has limited time to utilize the makeshift pier. Originally planned to be operational for ninety days, it is expected to lose its ability to transport aid by the end of August, at which point rising sea levels and more frequent storms would compel military authorities to demolish it.

The operation, which was unveiled by President Joe Biden in his March State of the Union address, was intended to feed Gaza’s starving population with some two million meals per day.

Read Also: 4,000-Year-Old Building Discovered by Greek Archaeologists at New Airport Location

However, Israeli officials blocked relief trucks at ground crossings, claiming security worries that some of the aid would end up in Hamas.

Over 3,500 metric tons of humanitarian aid have been transported via the pier thus far, with roughly 1,000 tons having been delivered in the last two days, according to CENTCOM’s report on Friday.

Officials from the United States have admitted that a large portion of the help has not reached its intended recipients. The dock is meant to supplement, not replace, aid going via ground crossings, but they claim it has been crucial in getting much-needed relief ashore that would not have otherwise arrived.

Although the United States military has stopped supplies coming across the pier three times, this is the second time the Joint Logistics over the Shore, or JLOTS, system has been moved.

The pier required repairs after it had been damaged by severe weather during its initial relocation. This time, in an effort to minimize damage, the pier is being disassembled and relocated.

The top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi, tweeted, “So far, the only accomplishment has been an increase in cost and risk for the 1,000 U.S. deployed troops.”

This Thursday, the project’s GOP chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Mike Rogers of Alabama, referred to it as a “irresponsible pier experiment” that must be “immediately terminated before catastrophe occurs.”

Rogers referred to it as a financial waste and “an embarrassment for the administration,” citing the three service members hurt while working on the pier and damaged Army warships that ran aground.

“This operation has failed and was never based in reality,” he stated.

The initiative is required to handle a serious humanitarian crisis, according to the Pentagon’s defense.

“It’s pretty important for the people that are suffering right now… to get whatever aid they can by whatever means,” Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh told reporters in May during the pier’s temporary closure. “If you want to characterize it as a failure, I leave it to you. What I can tell you is that we don’t control the weather.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *