Pentagon says operations at temporary Gaza pier will soon end

Pentagon says operations at temporary Gaza pier will soon end

A temporary dock for humanitarian aid set up by the US military on the coast of the Gaza Strip will soon cease operations completely, the Pentagon announced on Thursday.

The pier broke away and was badly damaged due to rough seas in June, and was towed to Ashdod on the Israeli coast.

Pentagon spokesman Pat Ryder said on Thursday that US military personnel unsuccessfully attempted to re-anchor the pier on the beach in Gaza on Wednesday but failed due to technical and weather-related issues.

“The pier will soon cease operations, with more details on that process and timing available in the coming days,” Ryder said.

Ryder’s remarks left open whether the temporary pier might be used again before ending operations entirely. He said only that a date for another re-anchoring attempt has not been set.

Ryder stressed that “the pier has always been intended as a temporary solution to enable the additional flow of aid into Gaza during a period of dire humanitarian need, with limited access, supplementing land and air channels of delivery.”

Original plans for the pier called for freight ships to bring aid supplies from Cyprus to a floating platform a few kilometres off the coast of the Gaza Strip, where the goods would be loaded onto smaller ships that can sail closer to the coast and dock at the pier.

There, the deliveries are received and distributed by aid organizations.

The operation has been plagued by problems since beginning in May, however.

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