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UN food organisation pauses deliveries to Gaza via US-built temporary pier amid safety concerns

June 10, 2024 at 2:36 pm

An aerial view of a construction area as construction of the temporary port, to be built to ensure the entry of humanitarian aid to Gaza, still continues in Gaza City, Gaza on April 29, 2024. [U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) – Anadolu Agency]

The Executive Director of the World Food Program has said the program has “paused” its delivery of humanitarian aid via Gaza from the US-built floating pier off Gaza because of concerns for the safety of staff following Saturday’s incidents, Anadolu Agency reports.

“We’re paused because I’m concerned about the safety of our people after the incidents yesterday (Saturday),” Cindy McCain said Sunday night during an interview with CBS News.

Noting that two of their warehouses were “rocketed” on Saturday, she noted: “So we’ve stepped back just for the moment to make sure that we’re on safe terms and on safe ground before we restart. But the rest of the country is operational.”

She added that they are doing “everything” they can in the northern and southern parts of the area.

The US Central Command said on 7 June that it re-established the temporary pier off the coast of Gaza which broke apart in rough seas late last month.

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US President, Joe Biden, ordered the establishment of a sea route to deliver food and other aid to Palestinians on 8 March amid Israeli restrictions and months of conflict in the enclave.

The Joint Logistics Over the Sea (JLOTS) – the floating pier and the Trident pier – became operational on 17 May when trucks carrying humanitarian assistance began moving ashore via the pier.

Israel has continued its brutal offensive on Gaza since a 7 October Hamas attack, despite a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire.

More than 37,100 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, most of them women and children, and nearly 84,700 others injured, according to local health authorities.

Eight months into the Israeli war, vast tracts of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which in its latest ruling has ordered Tel Aviv to immediately halt its operation in the southern city of Rafah, where over a million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on 6 May.

READ: Gaza hospital records 50 malnourished Palestinian children in just a week