June 25, 2024

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Pentagon says none of 569 metric tons of aid delivered to US-built dock reached Palestinians, some ‘intercepted’ by thieves

Pentagon says none of 569 metric tons of aid delivered to US-built dock reached Palestinians, some ‘intercepted’ by thieves

Policy


The Pentagon announced Tuesday that more than 569 metric tons of humanitarian aid has crossed the US-built floating dock into Gaza, but none of it has been delivered to Palestinian civilians.

The structure, erected by the US military in an attempt to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in the war-torn region, was completed last Thursday.

But several trucks transporting food and other goods to warehouses on the Gaza mainland were “intercepted”.

Soldiers assigned to the 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary) use a rope to secure humanitarian aid as it is lifted by a crane aboard the ship MV Roy P. Benavidez in the port of Ashdod, Israel, May 14, 2024. U.S. Army photo/Sgt. Malcolm Cohens Ashley

“We expect that aid will be distributed in the coming days here, of course, if conditions permit,” Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said. He told reporters on TuesdayStressing that aid is “flowing” but has not yet been distributed to the Palestinians.

When asked if any of the aid had already been delivered as of Tuesday, Ryder replied: “I don’t think so.”

A Pentagon spokesman indicated that some trucks, operated by non-governmental organizations charged with delivering aid to another area, were looted by thieves.

“Some of that initial aid that was brought in, as it was being transported along the transportation route, was intercepted by some people who took that aid from those vehicles,” Ryder said.

“After that, discussions took place to ensure that there were alternative routes so that it could be delivered to the warehouses,” he added.

Humanitarian aid is lifted by a crane operated by soldiers assigned to the 7th Transport Brigade (Expeditionary) from a sea bridge in the port of Ashdod, Israel. U.S. Army photo/Sgt. Malcolm Cohens Ashley

On Saturday, the United Nations World Food Programme, one of the NGOs involved in the complex logistics operations, attempted to transport aid from the beach to a warehouse on 16 trucks, only five of which reached their destination, according to the organization. News agency.

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World Food Program officials said that 11 trucks were “seized” by a crowd of people, and that a Palestinian was shot dead during the terrifying scene.

As part of the process, before humanitarian supplies can reach the Palestinians, they are first transported to Cyprus, where they are loaded onto ships bound for the floating dock.

Soldiers from the 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary) support the construction of the Joint Logistics System above the beach off the coast of Gaza. U.S. Army photo/Sgt. Malcolm Cohens Ashley

The aid is then transported by US military personnel to a bridge connecting the pier to the mainland.

From that point, they are taken by non-US contractors to shore and placed in an assembly area.

NGOs then pick up the pallets to distribute to warehouses, where they will ostensibly be delivered to civilians in need.

“When it comes to NGO security, that’s a decision they all make internally,” Ryder said of reports of violent looting. “So I can’t really talk to them.”

On Saturday, the United Nations World Food Programme, one of the NGOs involved in the complex logistics operations, attempted to transport aid from the beach to a warehouse on board 16 trucks, only five of which reached their destination. U.S. Army photo/Sgt. Malcolm Cohens Ashley

The Pentagon official indicated that he expected the amount of aid being distributed to increase, but urged patience.

“We have been very clear from the beginning that we are going to take a crawl, walk, run approach to ensure that we implement this system in a way that we address the processes and procedures, including taking action.” “Taking into account security conditions,” Ryder said.

He added: “So I think that, as we work together, you will see an increase in the volume of aid and the ability to distribute it.”

“But we never said it would be easy. I mean again, the conditions we are dealing with here are difficult.”

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President Biden announced plans for the temporary port in his State of the Union address in March, and said the pier would allow food, water, medicine and temporary shelter to reach the besieged Hamas-run enclave “every day.”




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