The temporary pier that’s been used since May 17 to deliver humanitarian aid into Gaza was removed Friday and towed to Ashdod, Israel, as a way to avoid potential damage from high seas. It’s expected the pier will be back in place on the Mediterranean Sea this week to once again facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid into Gaza.

“In terms of the [Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore pier], we expect it will go operational again this week,” Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said during a briefing today. “As far as airdrops go, we do have the capability and do intend to continue conducting airdrops.”

While the Defense Department has said that the Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore floating pier, referred to as the “Trident Pier” or “the causeway,” is a temporary piece of infrastructure and that there are better ways to get aid into Gaza, Ryder said there is no indication right now that there are plans to stop using the pier to deliver aid. 

“We’ve said all along … that the pier is a temporary measure,” he said. “I don’t have any dates to announce in terms of when it will cease operations … we’re looking forward to getting it operational again soon and to delivering aid.” 

The pier was anchored to the Gaza shore on May 16 and since then, due to weather, has experienced both damage and temporary shutdowns. 

Nevertheless, the pier has delivered a substantial amount of aid into Gaza, Ryder said. 

“The big picture, whether it be by land, sea or air, [we’re] employing all avenues to get assistance into Gaza,” he said. “Since the pier was put in place about a month ago, we’ve been able to shuttle over 3,500 metric tons, or 7.7 million pounds of aid onto the shore in Gaza, via this temporary pier.” 

The general added that the U.S would continue to work with aid groups, the United Nations, the Israelis and other partners to find ways to get additional aid into Gaza. 

Independent of the floating pier, U.S. Central Command has worked both on its own and in partnership with the Royal Jordanian Air Force, since March, to conduct humanitarian airdrops of aid into Gaza. 

Since that time, Centcom has been involved in nearly 40 such missions into Gaza to deliver, among other things, more than 1,050 metric tons of bulk food, water and prepared meals. 

The last such humanitarian air drop took place June 9, when a U.S. C-130 dropped more than 10 metric tons of “meals ready to eat” — packaged meals — into Northern Gaza.

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