Israel-Hamas war: Temporary pier off Gaza to boost aid to Palestinians completed, US military says

A long-awaited temporary pier built in order to get urgent aid to Palestinian civilians in Gaza has anchored to a beach off the besieged enclave, the US military has said. 

The US Central Command said its personnel anchored the pier at about 7.40am local time as part of a mission to deliver additional humanitarian aid to Gaza, where thousands of people are facing starvation as enough aid supplies have for months failed to make it in.

Israel recently seized the key Rafah border crossing in its push on that southern city on the Egyptian border, complicating the delivery of critical supplies.

“As part of this effort, no US troops entered Gaza. Trucks carrying humanitarian assistance are expected to begin moving ashore in the coming days. The United Nations will receive the aid and coordinate its distribution into Gaza,” a post on X said.

The UN, however, is yet to finalize how it will be involved in the distribution of aid once it comes off the pier.

According to military leaders, the operation will set off slowly to test the system, with an initial figure of about 90 truckloads of aid a day expected to quickly increase to 150.

An initial shipment from Cyprus is estimated to be enough for a month of provisions for 11,000 people, according to a defense official quoted by Reuters.

In its efforts to boost aid to Gaza, where Israel has launched a powerful bombing campaign following the 7 October attack, Washington is likely to face challenges which have beset the UN and other relief agencies for months.