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Pentagon says U.S. soldier critically injured while assigned to Gaza humanitarian port

2 others also injured at pier where humanitarian aid being delivered

Trucks loaded with humanitarian aid from the United Arab Emirates and the United States Agency for International Development cross the Trident Pier before entering the beach in Gaza earlier this month. A U.S. soldier working at the Gaza pier platform was critically hurt on Thursday and evacuated to Israel, along with two others who were injured in incidents that a military official said were not combat-related. The pier, anchored to the beach and Gaza, has been in operation for about a week in delivering humanitarian food and supplies into the war-torn area via sea. File Photo via U.S. Army/UPI
Trucks loaded with humanitarian aid from the United Arab Emirates and the United States Agency for International Development cross the Trident Pier before entering the beach in Gaza earlier this month. A U.S. soldier working at the Gaza pier platform was critically hurt on Thursday and evacuated to Israel, along with two others who were injured in incidents that a military official said were not combat-related. The pier, anchored to the beach and Gaza, has been in operation for about a week in delivering humanitarian food and supplies into the war-torn area via sea. File Photo via U.S. Army/UPI | License Photo

May 24 (UPI) -- A U.S. soldier working at the Gaza pier platform was critically hurt on Thursday and evacuated to Israel, along with two others who were injured in incidents that a military official said were not combat-related.

The pier, anchored to the beach and Gaza, has been in operation for about a week in delivering humanitarian food and supplies into the war-torn area via sea. Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, the deputy commander of U.S. Central Command, declined to comment on the most serious injury.

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"One was simply a sprained ankle ... and one is a hurt back," Cooper said of the minor injuries in a news conference on Thursday. "I won't get into the details of the other one."

U.S. officials rejected reports about trucks getting looted once leaving the military's distribution area. Daniel Dieckhaus, USAID's Levant response management team director, admitted that one truck out of 54 delivering goods had "an incident."

"[The incident] represents a minority of the overall shipments," Dieckhaus said, according to USNI News.

Cooper said the pier and its staging area is not completely out of harm's way. He said recently a Hamas drone attacked Israeli Defense Forces members several miles away, forcing officials to pause their humanitarian work temporarily.

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Dieckhaus said in the news conference that USAID is going through a layered, complicated process to get food and humanitarian aid from its staging area to those who need it the most.

"It's multifaceted, requires many different moving pieces to align in order for it to work, as well as very strict timing for humanitarian organizations to receive the assistance and move it safely and efficiently to storage and onward distribution," Dieckhaus said.

"We continually adjust and there will continue to be adjustments needed as we learn and adapt the processes. And these processes are improving every day."

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