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US suspends aid into Gaza by sea after rough seas cause damage to temporary pier

The damage is the latest setback to the pier, which opened two weeks ago.

THE US MILITARY has suspended aid deliveries into the Gaza Strip by sea, the Pentagon said on Tuesday, after its temporary pier was damaged by bad weather.

Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh told reporters high seas and a North African weather system had caused a section of the pier to come away on Tuesday morning.

“The rebuilding and repairing of the pier will take at least over a week, and, following completion, will need to be re-anchored to the coast of Gaza,” she said.

“Thus, upon completion of the pier repair and reassembly, the intention is to re-anchor the temporary pier to the coast of Gaza and resume humanitarian aid to the people who need it most.”

The damage is the latest setback to the pier, which opened two weeks ago.

US Central Command (CENTCOM) said Saturday four US Army vessels supporting the pier broke free from their moorings and ran aground in heavy seas.

Two beached in Gaza while the other two washed up on the coast of Israel, 50 kilometres south of Tel Aviv. One has been recovered and the other three will be brought back in within 48 hours, Singh said.

As part of the ongoing war, Israel has imposed a siege on Gaza that has deprived the territory’s 2.4 million people of most clean water, food, medicines and fuel.

US President Joe Biden had said in March the pier would be built to alleviate restrictions imposed by Israel on aid delivery by land to Gaza.

CENTCOM said 1,005 metric tons of aid had been delivered from the sea to the beach transfer point as of Friday, with 903 metric tons distributed from the transfer point to the UN warehouse.

Ireland, along with Spain and Norway, today recognised the State of Gaza.