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It Only Took Two Days For Biden’s Gaza Pier To Experience Another Major Setback

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The United Nations (UN) World Food Program (WFP) said Sunday it was suspending aid deliveries from the Biden administration’s floating pier in Gaza.

The WFP cited safety concerns on the ground in Gaza as the reason it was halting deliveries from the pier, the Associated Press reported. The pier had only been operational for roughly two days before the WFP announced its decision, after weather damage broke it apart and temporarily took it out of commission.

“Right now we’re paused,”  Cindy McCain, director of the WFP, told CBS on Sunday, according to the AP. “I’m concerned about the safety of our people after the incident yesterday. We also, two of our warehouses, the warehouse complex were rocketed yesterday.”

Israeli forces successfully staged a military operation in the Nuseirat camp of central Gaza on Saturday and rescued four hostages who were being held by Hamas, engaging in an intense firefight. At least 274 Palestinians are estimated to have been killed in the crossfire, according to the AP, citing local health officials.

“We’ve stepped back for the moment… to make sure that we’re on safe terms and on safe ground before we’ll restart. But the rest of the country is operational,” McCain said, referring to the organization’s other aid delivery operations in Gaza. “We’re doing … everything we can in the north and the south.”

The pier has been plagued with problems since it was constructed in May by the U.S. military. A stint of bad weather and choppy seas broke the pier apart and rendered it non-operational in late May, forcing aid deliveries through the channel to halt while repairs were conducted.

The pier was fixed and anchored to the shores of Gaza on Friday. The WFP’s decision is a setback for the Biden administration’s goal to deliver at least 90 truckloads of aid per day from the pier.

There have also been concerns that U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) forces — which are operating the pier — are in danger due to the environmental and conflict risks in Gaza. Three U.S. troops were injured during pier operations in May, with one sustaining critical injuries.

Four Army vessels supporting the pier were also unmoored during a storm, with two ending up on the shores of Gaza and two others floating north and beaching in Israel.

The USAID, which has been working closely with the WFP in aid distribution, told the AP in a statement on Sunday it was coordinating with U.S. officials and other humanitarian groups in Gaza to “ensure that aid can safely and effectively resume movement following completion of the security review that the humanitarian community is currently undertaking.”

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