Over 569 Metric Tons of Aid Delivered to US-Built Pier Yet to Reach Gaza: Pentagon

The United Nations said that only five of 16 trucks made it to the warehouses in Gaza.
Over 569 Metric Tons of Aid Delivered to US-Built Pier Yet to Reach Gaza: Pentagon
Pentagon press secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder holds a press conference at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., on Oct. 19, 2023. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
Aldgra Fredly

More than 569 metric tons of humanitarian aid has been delivered across the U.S.-built temporary pier to Gaza so far, but none of it has been distributed to Palestinian civilians, the Pentagon said on Tuesday.

Pentagon spokesperson Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said that the United States, Israel, and the United Nations were working to determine “alternative routes for the safe movement of staff and cargo” into Gaza.

Mr. Ryder said that several trucks that were transporting the aid to the warehouses had been “intercepted” by “some people who took the aid off those vehicles.”

When asked if any of the aid has been delivered to the civilians in Gaza, Mr. Ryder answered: “As of today, I do not believe so.”

Mr. Ryder said the aid is now being transferred from assembly areas to warehouses for further distribution throughout Gaza, as alternative routes have been established.

“And so movements from the temporary facility from the assembly area, they have resumed today,” he said at a press briefing.

“We do anticipate that assistance will be distributed in the coming days here, of course, conditions permitting,” Mr. Ryder added, emphasizing their primary focus was to get aid to Palestinians “who need it most.”

The floating pier was installed by the U.S. military to facilitate increased deliveries of food and humanitarian supplies amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war in Gaza. Mr. Ryder noted that it has only been three days since the pier became operational.

“It’s just over three days since JLOTS first went operational and we’ve already been able to push, as I mentioned, over 596 metric tons of aid for onward delivery into Gaza, more on the way,” he said.

“And again, it’s also important to remember that this is a combat zone and that it is a complex operation,” the spokesman added.

U.S. service men at work assembling the Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore system (JLOTS) in the Mediterranean Sea. (US Central Command)
U.S. service men at work assembling the Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore system (JLOTS) in the Mediterranean Sea. (US Central Command)

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters that 16 trucks left the pier on Saturday, but only five of them made it to the warehouse. He said the trucks had been blocked by “crowds” at various points along the way.

“These trucks were traveling through areas where there’d been no aid.  I think people feared that they would never see aid. They grabbed what they could,” Mr. Dujarric said at a press conference on Tuesday.

“The fact that the trucks didn’t make it underscores the need for consistent delivery of aid and obviously for a ceasefire so we have access to aid that is needed—so people know that when they see a truck, there will be more trucks, that there is more aid in the pipeline, and it’s not just a one off,” he added.

The ongoing conflict has disrupted access to food, water, and other humanitarian supplies, and degraded civilian infrastructure throughout the territory.

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power said on April 10 that nearly the entire population of the Gaza Strip “is living under the threat of famine” and that famine conditions have likely already begun in some areas of the enclave.

Ms. Power said that about 500 commercial and humanitarian trucks would enter the Gaza Strip on a daily basis before the Oct. 7, 2023, attacks. The flow of supply trucks fell after the start of the conflict. Ms. Power said the number of supply trucks reaching the Gaza Strip has recovered somewhat but that “we need to go way beyond that” to meet the humanitarian needs in the territory.

“The destruction of greeneries, and markets, and arable land, and then the fact that so few trucks got in over so many months means we have massive catch-up to do,” she said at an April 10 House hearing.

Ryan Morgan contributed to this report.