The US military pier in Gaza stopped working due to heavy waves

A temporary dock built by the US military to deliver aid to Gaza was damaged by strong waves and will take at least a week to repair, US officials said.

US forces began building the floating dock – linked to the Gaza coast by a temporary bridge – several weeks ago.

The bridge portion of the project is now reportedly broken and will have to be repaired before it can be returned to its location.

Humanitarian organizations have warned that the amount of aid reaching Palestinians in Gaza represents only a small portion of what is needed to meet the needs of its population.

The pier, first announced by U.S. officials in March, consists of two main components: a large floating pier consisting of steel slats and a bridge and a two-lane pier 1,800 feet (548 meters) long.

The bridge portion of the project consists of a series of 40-foot (12 m) interconnected steel pieces linked together and connected to the beach.

The Pentagon confirmed on Tuesday that part of the bridge broke away due to heavy waves.

While it is connected to the Gaza coast, the piece must be removed and transported to the Israeli port of Ashod for repair before it can be reattached to the bridge and returned to work.

Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said that the pier will be removed within the next two days with the help of the Israeli Navy.

She added that the repairs will take more than a week.

Ms Singh said weather conditions in the area did not create an “ideal environment” for the pier’s deployment, but defense officials remained confident it would be operational again soon.

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“I can’t predict the weather,” she said. “But we believe that at this time of year, we will be able to reinstall that pavement.”

Mick Mulroy, former deputy assistant secretary of defense for the Middle East and one of the founders of Fogbo, a private company involved in the Gaza dock plan, told the BBC that weather-related delays were “expected” to “pose challenges.”

He added, “But these challenges can be overcome, and the task itself is worth the effort.” “People are in desperate need of help and this is one way to provide it.”

On May 17, the US military confirmed that the first shipments of humanitarian aid had been delivered to Gaza via the dock, but in a separate incident last weekend, four ships supporting the dock became unmoored in a “high sea state,” resulting in one casualty. Two of them are on the beach.

In a previous incident, three American soldiers who were participating in the Gaza dock mission were also injured, one of whom was in critical condition and was transferred to a hospital in Israel.

Reuters news agency quoted a spokesman for the United Nations World Food Program as saying that the United Nations has transported a total of 137 aid trucks from the pier – about 900 metric tons – since it began operating.

At the White House on Tuesday, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the dock was never expected to “replace” aid arriving in Gaza via land crossings, but rather could be a “force multiplier.”

The Pentagon estimates that more than 1,000 tons have been delivered ashore, with just over 900 tons arriving at UN warehouses.

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Despite growing concerns about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he remained committed to achieving “complete victory” in Rafah, Hamas’s last remaining urban stronghold in the southern Strip.

The Israeli military campaign in Gaza began after Hamas militants attacked Israel on October 7, killing about 1,200 people and taking 252 others to Gaza hostage.

More than 36,000 Palestinians have been killed in the war since then, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza.

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