By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

US President Joe Biden ordered the establishment of a sea route to deliver food and aid to Palestinians on March 8 amid Israeli restrictions and months of conflict in the enclave.

The US military pier off the coast of Gaza has resumed operations after “some scheduled maintenance”, according to the Pentagon.

“The pier is operational. It resumed operations again today. As you know, yesterday, they took a day to do some scheduled maintenance on the pier … Aid is flowing across the causeway,” spokesman Major General Pat Ryder told reporters on Tuesday.

Ryder said that since May 17, “more than 6,800 metric tons or 15 million pounds of humanitarian aid” have been delivered “onshore for onward delivery.”

He said the Department of Defence was working “with interagency and international NGOs” to facilitate the delivery of aid.

Ryder said the pier was “a temporary solution to help rush aid into the zone, again, recognizing the dire security situation there. But again, we’re going to continue to look at all ways to get aid into Gaza.”

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Asked about reports that the UN will suspend aid operations in Gaza unless Israel acts to better protect humanitarian workers, he said “We’ve got to take into account the capacity of the marshaling area.”

“We’re not quite there yet. So, you know, again, we’re going to continue to be in communication with the UN, with the World Food Program, USAID and look at those things,” he said.

$320 Million Cost

US President Joe Biden ordered the establishment of a sea route to deliver food and aid to Palestinians on March 8 amid Israeli restrictions and months of conflict in the enclave.

The JLOTS – the floating pier and the Trident pier – became operational on May 17 when trucks carrying humanitarian assistance began moving ashore via the pier.

It had only been in service for about ten days since it was inaugurated due to weather damage, stormy seas, and security concerns.

The initial cost of the pier was estimated at $320 million. But the Pentagon said the price had dropped to $230 million due to contributions from the UK and because the cost of contracting trucks and other equipment was “lower than expected,” reported the Anadolu news agency.

The Pentagon has denied allegations that Israeli forces could have used the pier during the military operation in the Nuseirat refugee camp that led to the killing of 274 Palestinians and the freeing of four Israeli captives.

On Tuesday, Yasmina Guerda, a humanitarian affairs officer from OCHA, told a UN press briefing in Geneva that the humanitarian assistance in the enclave since October 7, has never been “near enough” to meet the population’s needs.

She said, “Delivering aid in Gaza is a daily puzzle.”

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Ongoing Genocide

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 37,718 Palestinians have been killed, and 86,337 wounded. Moreover, at least 11,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’.

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

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The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

(PC, Anadolu)

The post ‘Pier is Operational’ – Pentagon Says It is Working with Aid Agencies   appeared first on Palestine Chronicle.

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