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Floating Gaza aid pier temporarily dismantled due to rough seas

Gaza aid pier temporarily dismantled
Gaza aid pier temporarily dismantled due to rough seas 00:23

Just a week after a temporary offshore pier designed to bring desperately-needed humanitarian aid into war-torn Gaza reopened following repairs, authorities announced Friday that it is being temporarily dismantled yet again because of rough seas.

U.S. Central Command announced Friday that the U.S.-built pier was being removed from Gaza's coast and towed back to Ashdod, Israel, to prevent it from being damaged. The pier will be "rapidly re-anchored" once water conditions are calm, CENTCOM said, but did not provide an estimate on when that would be.

"The decision to temporarily relocate the pier is not made lightly but is necessary to ensure the temporary pier can continue to deliver aid in the future," the agency said in a statement.

The pier, which carried an estimated construction cost of $320 million, according to the Pentagon, was preassembled at the port of Ashdod. It was first installed May 17 off the coast of Gaza, but was only operational for about one week before it was broken apart by heavy seas.

U.S. aid pier
A view of the damaged floating pier constructed by the U.S. to facilitate quicker delivery of humanitarian aid to Palestinians on May 27, 2024, off the coast of Gaza.  Dawoud Abo Alkas/Anadolu via Getty Images

It underwent repairs and reopened to aid delivers on June 8 before shuttering again Friday.

Since it was first installed, about 7.7 million pounds of aid have been delivered to Gaza via the pier, CENTCOM reported.

In April, Defense Department officials said the pier was expected to deliver about 90 trucks worth of aid a day, ramping up to 150 per day at full capacity.

President Biden first announced the maritime aid corridor during his State of the Union address in March. Mr. Biden said no U.S. troops will set foot in Gaza. There are about 1,000 U.S. service members devoted to the maritime corridor operation just off the coast.

Earlier Friday, the State Department announced that it had sanctioned an Israeli extremist group known as Tsav 9 for conducting attacks on aid convoys in the occupied West Bank designed to prevent aid deliveries to Gaza. 

Eleanor Watson contributed to this report. 

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