Gaza aid pier operations suspended – UN

UNDEFINED – MAY 16: US military builds temporary pier to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza. © US Central Command via Getty Images

The floating dock, built in response to the global body’s warnings of a “full famine” in the enclave, operated for only one day. UNDEFINED – MAY 16: US military builds temporary pier to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza. © U.S. Central Command via Getty Images

The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) has suspended food distribution from a US-built pier in central Gaza due to concerns about the safety of its staff, WFP’s regional office said on social media on Monday. The statement comes after an aid group’s warehouse complex in the enclave was reportedly hit by rockets.

A temporary pier was built by the US military to provide more aid to Gaza. WFP said last month that the northern part of the besieged enclave had fallen into “full famine” that was now spreading south. The UN accused Israel of limiting humanitarian aid deliveries to Gaza, which West Jerusalem denied.

The group is “temporarily suspending operations at the floating dock for a UN security assessment to ensure the safety of staff and partners,” WFP in the Middle East and North Africa said in a statement on the X platform (formerly Twitter) on Monday.

Program director Cindy McCain told CBS News on Sunday that two of the agency’s warehouses in the enclave had been “rocketed by a rocket” the day before, injuring one employee. The group was forced to “step back” to ensure they were “on safe ground,” McCain added.

On Saturday, the Israeli military launched an attack on a refugee camp in central Gaza to recover hostages held by Hamas. The operation resulted in the release of four Israeli prisoners and reportedly killed over 270 people.

Israel’s key ally, the United States, acknowledged that the military action took place “in the vicinity” of the floating dock but described any possible damage as “accidental.” The pier “had nothing to do with the (Israeli military) rescue operation,” Pentagon spokesman Patrick Ryder told reporters on Monday.

The U.S.-built pier, completed in mid-May, operated for about a week before work was halted due to storm damage. Repairs were completed last Friday, and nearly 500 tons of food was unloaded from American ships on Saturday. However, distribution has now been suspended due to the fighting, meaning further disruptions to food supplies for famine-stricken Gazans.

The conflict between Hamas and Israel escalated in October after the Palestinian militant group carried out a rocket attack on the Jewish state, killing about 1,200 people and taking about 250 hostages. According to enclave authorities, the death toll from Israeli retaliation in Gaza has exceeded 37,000. (RT)

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