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Aid trucks begin moving ashore via Gaza pier, US says

May 17, 2024 at 8:44 am

Charity ship loaded with humanitarian aid, which set sail from the Larnaca Port, arrives off the coast of Gaza on March 15, 2024. ( Ali Jadallah – Anadolu Agency )

The US Central Command said today that trucks carrying humanitarian assistance began moving ashore via a temporary pier in Gaza at 9am local time (0600 GMT), Reuters reported.

No US troops went ashore in Gaza, it added.

“This is an ongoing, multinational effort to deliver additional aid to Palestinian civilians in Gaza via a maritime corridor that is entirely humanitarian in nature, and will involve aid commodities donated by a number of countries and humanitarian organizations,” US Centcom said.

Earlier reports claim the pier will initially handle 90 trucks a day, but that number could go up to 150 trucks daily when it is fully operational. In April, the United Nations said that the daily average number of trucks entering Gaza during April was 200, warning that there can be no alternative to a land route for the delivery of aid, adding that though aid being delivered by sea may help Palestinians in Gaza, the amount arriving will be insufficient to stop the spread of famine.

A senior Biden administration official has previously said that humanitarian aid coming off the pier will need to pass through Israeli checkpoints on land.

That is despite the aid having already been inspected by Israel in Cyprus before being shipped to Gaza.

The prospect of checkpoints raises questions about possible delays even after aid reaches shore. The United Nations has long complained of obstacles to getting aid in and distributing it throughout Gaza.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which in an interim ruling in January, called on the occupation state to ensure no genocidal acts are carried out by its officials or army and to allow for the unhindered delivery of aid to civilians in Gaza.

Palestinians fear the US pier will be used to forcibly displaced civilians from Gaza or to commandeer the occupied territory’s offshore natural resources.

READ: US completes installation of floating pier to deliver aid to Gaza