Photo Credit: COGAT
Humanitarian aid being delivered to Gaza.

The United States has suspended the delivery of humanitarian aid via the maritime corridor from Cyprus after the temporary pier (JLOTS) built by the US Navy on the Gaza shore broke apart in high winds and choppy waves.

This past Saturday (May 25) four US Army vessels supporting the maritime humanitarian aid mission in Gaza ran aground on Israel’s Mediterranean coast due to heavy seas. The choppy waters caused the motorized pier sections that were used to stabilize the Trident Pier to break free from their anchors due to a loss in power; they were subsequently washed ashore in Israel.

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“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,” Pentagon deputy spokesperson Sabrina Singh told reporters Tuesday in a briefing.

“Efforts to recover the vessels are underway with the assistance from the Israeli Navy.”

Earlier in the day on Tuesday, high seas in combination with a North African weather system caused one of the pier sections to separate from the part of the pier that is currently anchored to the Gaza coast.

The pier is comprised of two main components: a large floating dock made up of steel segments and a two-lane, 1,800 foot (548 meter) causeway and pier. The causeway that leads to the shore and connects to the floating dock is composed of a series of interconnected, 40 foot (12 meter) steel pieces linked together and attached to shore.

“Sections of the pier need rebuilding and repairing,” Singh told reporters. “Therefore, over the next 48 hours the Trident Pier will be removed from its anchored position on the coast and towed back to Ashdod where US Central Command (CENTCOM) will conduct repairs.”

The rebuilding and repairing of the pier is expected to take more than a week; following its completion, it will need to be re-anchored to the coast of Gaza, she said.

Singh contends that the pier has proved “highly valuable” in delivering aid to Gaza civilians. She told reporters that the pier will be reassembled and re-anchored to the Gaza coast in order to resume delivery of humanitarian aid via the maritime corridor.

How Much Aid Entered Gaza via the Pier?
Humanitarian aid was delivered to the Gaza shore via the new pier for the first time on May 18. In the 10 days since (actually a week due to the pier breaking apart), more than 1,000 metric tons were delivered from the pier to the marshalling area for onward delivery by humanitarian organizations to Gazans, according to the Pentagon.

Each pallet of aid weighs about a ton, according to the Cypriot Foreign Ministry. About 40 percent of the aid that reached the marshalling area subsequently reached its intended destination. The rest was intercepted and hijacked by Hamas-led terrorists and gang members.

But the amount of aid arriving via the pier is not yet significant.

To put things in perspective: on Monday (May 27) alone, more than 370 humanitarian aid trucks entered Gaza, including 154 trucks arriving via the Kerem Shalom Crossing from Egypt. More than 70 trucks carrying flour from the World Food Program (WFP) entered the enclave from the Ashdod Port.

One day earlier, 360 trucks entered Gaza with aid for the residents, including 124 aid trucks that entered via the Kerem Shalom Crossing. In addition, 37 pallets of aid were air dropped over Gaza, and six tankers filled with fuel entered as well.

Last week, 1,981 trucks entered Gaza, including 242 trucks carrying humanitarian aid from Jordan.

“Israel has facilitated the entry of half a million tons of humanitarian aid into Gaza, including almost 20,000 trucks of food,” according to COGAT (Israel’s liaison with Palestinian Authority and Gaza citizens).

Eighty percent more food is being delivered to the enclave via land, sea and air, than had been prior to the outbreak of the war on October 7, 2023, Israeli government spokesperson Tal Heinrich told reporters at a briefing on Tuesday.

Study: Gazans Are Getting Enough Food
Since the beginning of the war, a total of more than 30,500 trucks have delivered more 591,000 tons of humanitarian aid into Gaza, with Israel opening new crossings, fixing the enclave’s water pipes and paving roads to make the deliveries more efficient — all while Hamas terrorists continue bombing the crossings, damaging the water pipes and hijacking the aid from the trucks to feed its terrorists and sell the rest at exorbitant prices in the Gaza marketplaces.

Nevertheless, according to a study by Israeli health and medical personnel that analyzed food shipments delivered into the Gaza Strip by land from January to April 2024 as recorded by COGAT, a sufficient amount of food and other supplies are entering the enclave to meet the needs of the entire population.

The study, conducted from January to April 2024, estimated the total calories, protein, fat and iron content of each shipment according to food composition values, analyzing data from 14,916 trucks weighing 227, 853.8 tons of food items as recorded by COGAT.

“Additional sources of food aid provided by air, sea and via the Egyptian border were not taken into account,” the report noted. “Therefore, our results do not represent the entire food supply available to the population, which may have more fruit and vegetables.”

On average, 3,729 food trucks entered Gaza per month (124 per day) — more food trucks entering the enclave daily than before the war.

“The amount of food delivered per capita should be sufficient for the entire Gazan population, and meets Sphere humanitarian recommendations for food aid delivery to conflict affected populations, during the period examined,” the researchers concluded.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.