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U.S. military's Gaza pier aid operation resumes after relocation due to storms

Trucks ferrying humanitarian assistance into Gaza from a temporary floating port began rolling again Thursday delivering approximately 656 metric tons (1.4 million pounds) of supplies onto the beach, the largest single day delivery of aid to date. The deliveries resumed after a week-long disruption due to bad weather. File Photo via U.S. Army/UPI
Trucks ferrying humanitarian assistance into Gaza from a temporary floating port began rolling again Thursday delivering approximately 656 metric tons (1.4 million pounds) of supplies onto the beach, the largest single day delivery of aid to date. The deliveries resumed after a week-long disruption due to bad weather. File Photo via U.S. Army/UPI | License Photo

June 21 (UPI) -- A U.S.-led operation to deliver humanitarian aid into Gaza by sea brought more than 650 tons of supplies ashore in the past 24 hours after reinstating a floating temporary pier off the coast of the enclave a week after stormy seas forced its temporary removal, the U.S. military said Friday.

Thursday saw the largest amount of aid delivered in a single day in the five weeks since the so-called Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore operation went live May 17, U.S. Central Command wrote in a post on X.

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"Trucks carrying humanitarian assistance across the temporary pier began delivery again and approximately 656 metric tons (1.4 million pounds) of aid were delivered to the beach in Gaza. This is the largest single-day delivery of aid to date," CENTCOM said.

"To date, over 4,160 metric tons (9.1 million pounds) of humanitarian aid have been delivered from the pier to the marshaling area where they can be collected by humanitarian organizations for onward delivery."

The temporary pier had been relocated on June 14 to avoid forecasted high seas and to "ensure the structural integrity of the pier and safety" of U.S. servicemen, CENTCOM explained, stressing that no U.S. troops entered Gaza at any point in the mission to get the pier back up and running.

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The military took the precautionary step after the structure was damaged by heavy seas May 25, disrupting the mission and resulting in deliveries being suspended for almost two weeks.

That stoppage came a day after three U.S. servicemen involved in the operation suffered "non-combat" related injuries, one of whom had to be evacuated to a hospital in Israel.

Back in Washington, the U.S. Defense Department vowed to take additional steps to keep personnel operating the pier safe, including making adjustments to take account of sea conditions in the Eastern Mediterranean, in line with its standard practice for military aircraft operations.

Press Secretary Maj. Gen Pat Ryder also moved to quash speculation that the operation could be wound up next month, two months earlier than planned, because it was falling short in getting aid into Gaza, safety and security issues and opposition from Republicans on Capitol Hill.

"I'd like to reiterate that while it's always been our intention for the pier to be a temporary solution as part of a broader international effort to surge humanitarian assistance into Gaza to meet the urgent needs of the Palestinian people, we have not established an end date for this mission as of now, contrary to some press reporting on the matter," he told a press briefing.

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"Therefore, we'll continue to facilitate the transfer of humanitarian aid via the maritime corridor, and as always, take necessary steps to ensure the safety and security of the personnel operating the pier."

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