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Heavy seas disrupt Gaza pier aid operations

By Mike Heuer
A U.S. vessel is moored to a temporary floating pier built and installed by the U.S. military to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza. Photo by Mohammed Saber/EPA-EFE
A U.S. vessel is moored to a temporary floating pier built and installed by the U.S. military to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza. Photo by Mohammed Saber/EPA-EFE

May 25 (UPI) -- Stormy seas caused four U.S. Army vessels to break loose of their moorings while trying to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza Saturday morning.

Two vessels are beached along Israel's coast near Ashkelon while the other two are anchored on the beach near the temporary pier built and put in place by the U.S. military, U.S.Central Command announced Saturday.

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No U.S. personnel were injured by the stormy seas, and none will enter Gaza, CENTCOM said.

Israel Defense Forces are assisting in recovering the vessels, and the pier remains fully functional.

The brief disruption is one of many affecting operations at the temporary pier, whose deployment was delayed until last week due to stormy seas and other causes.

About 1.2 million pounds aid have arrived at the pier, about two-thirds of which the United Nations has distributed to Gazans, the U.S. Department of Defense officials said.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi during a phone call on Friday told President Joe Biden Egypt would resume truck deliveries of humanitarian aid into Gaza and allow aid to flow through Kerem Shalom.

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The World Food Programme estimates about 1.1. million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are suffering due to a lack of food.

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