Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Colossal Failure!! 569 tons of aid that passed through US-built pier fails to reach Palestinians ‘intercepted’ by looters: Pentagon


Over 569 metric tons of humanitarian aid have made it across the US-built floating pier and into Gaza, but none of it has been delivered to Palestinian civilians, the Pentagon said Tuesday. 

The structure, erected by the US Army in an effort to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in the war-torn region, was completed last Thursday.

But several trucks hauling food and other goods to warehouses have been “intercepted” on the Gazan mainland. 

“We do anticipate that assistance will be distributed in the coming days here, of course conditions permitting,” Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters Tuesday, maintaining that the aid was “flowing in” but not yet being distributed to Palestinians. 

When pressed if any of the aid has actually been delivered as of Tuesday, Ryder responded, “I do not believe so.”

The Pentagon spokesman noted that some trucks, operated by nongovernmental organizations tasked with delivering the aid to another staging area, had been ransacked by looters. 

“Some of that initial aid that was brought in, as it was being taken along a transportation route, was intercepted by some people who took that aid off those vehicles,” Ryder said.

“Subsequently, there’s been discussions by which to ensure that there’s alternate routes so that it can be delivered to warehouses,” he added. 

On Saturday, the United Nations World Food Program, one of the NGOs involved in the complicated logistics, attempted to transport aid from the beach to a warehouse on 16 trucks, of which only five reached their destination, according to the Associated Press

UNWFP officials said 11 trucks were “commandeered” by a crowd, and one Palestinian was shot dead during the frightening scene. 

As part of the operation, before humanitarian supplies can reach Palestinians it is first taken to Cyprus, where it’s loaded onto ships bound for the floating pier. 

The aid is then transported by US-military personnel to a causeway which connects the pier to the mainland. 

From that point, it’s then taken by non-US contractors onto shore and put in an assembly area.

NGOs then pick up the pallets for distribution to warehouses, from where it will ostensibly be delivered to civilians in need. 

“When it comes to the security of NGOs, that’s a decision that they all make internally,” Ryder said of the reports of violent looting. “So I really can’t speak to them.” 

The Pentagon official indicated that he expects the amount of aid being distributed to increase, but urged patience.

“We’ve been very clear from the beginning that we’re going to take a crawl, walk, run approach to make sure that we are implementing this system in a way where we’re working out the processes, the procedures, including taking into account the security conditions,” Ryder said.

“So I think you’re going to see, as we work together, the amount of aid increase and the ability to get it distributed increase,” he added. 

“But we never said it was going to be easy. I mean, again, the circumstances that we’re dealing with here are – challenging.”

President Biden announced plans for the temporary port in his State of the Union address in March, he said the pier would allow for food, water, medicine and temporary shelter to reach the besieged Hamas-run enclave “every day.”

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