A U.S. official says aid is being delivered to Gaza from a repaired U.S.-built ship

WASHINGTON (AP) — As a storm-damaged project needs repairs, first aid from a U.S.-built ship arrived in Gaza on Saturday, the U.S. military said, resuming efforts to get supplies to Palestinians by sea. Beset by problems.

Built by the US military, the ship was operational only a week ago Dispersed by strong winds and heavy seas May 25. A damaged area Reconnected with the beach In Gaza on Friday after undergoing repairs at an Israeli port.

About 1.1 million pounds (492 metric tons) of humanitarian aid was delivered to Gaza on Saturday, the U.S. Central Command said. said in a statement. It reiterated that no US troops had gone ashore in Gaza. The US Agency for International Development is working with the UN World Food Program and their humanitarian partners in Gaza to distribute food and other aid from the US-operated ship.

The deliveries came on the same day that Israel experienced heavy wind and ground loading The attack saved the four hostages, who was captured by Hamas during the October 7 offensive that started the war in Gaza. A Gaza health official said at least 210 Palestinians, including children, were killed.

Pushing Back Against Social Media Claims, US Federal Command said in a tweet Neither the ship nor its equipment, crew or other assets were used in the Israeli operation. It noted that Israel had used an area south of the ship to “safely return the hostages”.

“The makeshift vessel off the coast of Gaza was set up for one purpose only, and to help move urgently needed life-saving aid into Gaza,” the US military said.

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USAID said in a separate statement that no humanitarian personnel were involved in the Israeli operation.

“Humanitarian aid workers in Gaza are operating under extremely difficult and unsafe conditions and must be protected,” the agency said in an email. “Aid workers operate under the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence.”

An aid operation by ship is bringing back online a way to get much-needed food and other emergency supplies to Palestinians stranded by an eight-month-old baby. Israel-Hamas war. Israel’s restrictions on crossing the land and fighting have severely restricted the flow of food and other essential goods into the territory.

The damage to the ship was the latest setback for the project and the continued struggle to get food. Starving Palestinians. Three American service members were wounded, one seriously, and four ships were beached due to heavy seas.

Initial attempts to get aid from the ship into the Gaza Strip were also hampered by overcrowding. Passed a convoy of trucks Aid agencies used to carry food supplies, removing cargo from many of them before they reached the UN warehouse. Officials responded by rerouting travel routes and aid began reaching those in need.

Deputy Commander of US Central Command, Vice Adm. Brad Cooper told reporters on Friday that the lessons learned from those initial weeks of operations gave him hope that more aid could now be provided.

He said the goal is to ship 1 million pounds of food and other supplies to Gaza every two days. To date, about 3.5 million pounds of humanitarian aid has been delivered by sea, Central Command said on Saturday.

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Aid agencies have pressed Israel to reopen land routes that could bring in all needed aid. Israel says it allowed hundreds of trucks to enter through the southern checkpoint and points the finger at the UN for not distributing aid. The UN has said that it will not be able to withdraw the aid due to the security situation.

The UN estimates that more than 1 million Palestinians in Gaza may experience this The highest level of starvation By the middle of next month if hostilities continue.

President Joe Biden’s administration has said from the start that the ship should not be a complete solution and that any amount of aid helps.

Biden, a Democrat, declared The US military is a shipbuilding program when State of the Union address In early March, the Army said it would take about 60 days to install and become operational. It took a little longer than planned The first trucks carrying aid The Gaza strip will roll off the ship on May 17.

The initial cost was estimated at $320 million, but the Pentagon said last week that the price had dropped to $230 million, with Britain’s contributions and the cost of contracting trucks and other equipment lower than expected.

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