US military says aid flow through Gaza pier has resumed

Washington, Jun 9 (IANS/DPA): The US military said that the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian aid for Gaza residents has resumed after a temporary pier on the territory's coast was repaired.

The temporary harbour had been damaged in rough seas at the end of May, just a few days after its completion. Due to strong waves, four US military ships anchored in the area broke free from their moorings.

The regional command Centcom on Saturday said in a statement that at about 10:30 am local time (0730 GMT), it "began delivery of humanitarian assistance ashore in Gaza."

"Today, a total of approximately 492 metric tonnes (1.1 million pounds) of much-needed humanitarian assistance was delivered to the people of Gaza. To date, USCENTCOM has assisted in the delivery of more than 1,573 metric tonnes (3.5 million pounds) of humanitarian aid," the statement continued.

The regional command stressed that "no US military personnel went ashore in Gaza."

"This ongoing effort in support of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to deliver additional aid to Palestinian civilians in Gaza is entirely humanitarian in nature and involves aid commodities donated by several countries and humanitarian organisations," Centcom said.

Under the provisional arrangement, freighters will initially bring aid supplies from Cyprus to a floating platform a few kilometres off the coast of the Gaza Strip.

The goods are then loaded onto smaller ships that can sail closer to the coast. These then dock at the temporary pier attached to the coast. There, the supplies are received by aid organisations and then distributed in the Gaza Strip by lorry.




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Title: US military says aid flow through Gaza pier has resumed

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