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US working to rebuild, repair Gaza aid pier

WASHINGTON: The US government is working to recover three of four vessels associated with its temporary humanitarian aid pier in Gaza after rough seas caused the motorized sections to run aground May 25, the Pentagon announced today.

The vessels, which are part of U.S. Central Command's Joint Logistics, Over-the-Shore capability — and which are used to stabilize the trident pier — broke free from their anchors and beached ashore after suffering a loss of power, Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh told reporters. 

"As of today, one of the Army vessels that was beached on the coast of Israel near Ashkelon has been recovered. The second vessel that was also beached near Ashkelon will be recovered in the next 24 hours, and the remaining two vessels that were beached near the Trident pier are expected to be recovered in the next 48 hours," Singh said, adding that the Israeli Navy is assisting in the recovery efforts.

The U.S is not authorizing any American boots on the ground in Gaza, and that is not hindering efforts to recover the three vessels, Singh said.



In addition to the JLOTS vessels running aground, high sea states and a North African weather system caused a portion of the trident pier to detach from the pier that is currently anchored into the Gaza coastline earlier today, resulting in damage to the trident pier and necessitating a need to rebuild and repair it, Singh said.

Over the next 48 hours, U.S. forces will remove the pier from its anchored position on the coast and tow it back to the Israeli coastal city of Ashdod to begin repairs.

"The pier proved highly valuable in delivering aid to the people of Gaza. Thus, upon completion of the pier repair and reassembly, the intention is to re-anchor the temporary pier to the coast of Gaza and resume humanitarian aid to the people who need it most," Singh told reporters, noting that, to date, over 1,000 metric tons of aid has been delivered to the pier for humanitarian organizations to distribute to Palestinians.  

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