Largest aid shipment yet reaches beleaguered Gaza as US pier brought back into action

The largest single shipment of aid to Gaza has taken place using the floating pier set up by the US military.

After weeks of delay, more than 600 tons of desperately-needed food and other humanitarian supplies arrived at the enclave's beach.

Aid organisations have warned of a growing humanitarian crisis as starvation stalks families amid the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.

The UN has warned a famine is looming, as photographs of emaciated children and reports of severe malnutrition have become more common.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said children have been starving to death in Gaza.

After weeks of delay, more than 600 tons of desperately-needed food and other humanitarian supplies arrived at the enclave's beach. Pictured: Aid arriving previously on May 17

After weeks of delay, more than 600 tons of desperately-needed food and other humanitarian supplies arrived at the enclave's beach. Pictured: Aid arriving previously on May 17

The largest single shipment of aid to Gaza has taken place using the floating pier set up by the US military (pictured on May 18)

The largest single shipment of aid to Gaza has taken place using the floating pier set up by the US military (pictured on May 18)

The American-built Trident Pier in May 29 (top) and on May 26 (bottom). The Pentagon suspended aid deliveries on May 28 after the pier was damaged by bad weather

The American-built Trident Pier in May 29 (top) and on May 26 (bottom). The Pentagon suspended aid deliveries on May 28 after the pier was damaged by bad weather

A man walks past buildings destroyed during the Israeli bombardment of Khan Yunis on June 11

The floating pier costing $230million (£182million) was hailed by President Joe Biden in March as bringing a 'massive increase' in assistance reaching Gaza 'every day'.

But it has been beset by problems, including damage by rough seas, and has only been operational for an estimated 10 days in total.

It was brought back into action on Wednesday morning, the US military's Central Command announced in a statement, with 656 tons of aid delivered to the beach in Gaza.

It said: 'This is the largest single day delivery of aid to date.'

So far, just over 4,100 tons of humanitarian aid have been delivered via the pier to the beach area where the supplies are collected by humanitarian organisations for onward delivery.

While the delivery has been welcomed, it represents only a fraction of the aid which charities say is needed every day.

A Palestinian girl with her knees in bandages hold a piece of dough to her chest as she walks along a street in Deir al-Balah, on June 13

A Palestinian girl with her knees in bandages hold a piece of dough to her chest as she walks along a street in Deir al-Balah, on June 13

A man carries an injured child following Israeli bombardment at al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip on June 16

A man carries an injured child following Israeli bombardment at al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip on June 16

Palestinian children wait in line to get food for their families, distributed by charitable organizations in Rafah, Gaza on February 16

Palestinian children wait in line to get food for their families, distributed by charitable organizations in Rafah, Gaza on February 16

The 600 tons represents about 45 lorry loads, and aid groups say approximately 500 lorries a day are required to help Gaza's two million people.

Ever since the October 7 atrocity when Hamas gunmen burst into Israel, murdering hundreds and kidnapping dozens of others, the Israeli government has vowed to hunt down and eradicate the terror group's leaders.

As the Israeli Defence Forces moved methodically through Gaza, the urban landscape has been devastated.

It remains extremely difficult and dangerous to move around the territory. Although Israel has held periodic pauses in its offensive to allow aid to get through to civilians, food lorries have been hampered by a combination of stringent restrictions and lawlessness.

Read More

Israel announces daily 'tactical pause' to let humanitarian aid flow into the war-torn region

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The maritime corridor, in which aid is shipped from Cyprus 250 miles across the Mediterranean Sea, is seen as a potentially more reliable option.

But the US pier can only operate in calm seas, and is due to be decommissioned at the end of this month anyway due to the season of rougher weather from July onwards.

The UN has been warning for weeks now that hunger 'has reached catastrophic levels' in the territory. According to the WHO, more than 8,000 children under the age of five have been diagnosed and treated for acute malnutrition since the war began, and of those 1,600 were severe cases.

Last week, WHO director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus claimed there had 'already been 32 deaths attributed to malnutrition, including 28 among children under five'.

Israel says Hamas started the war and the group's leaders bear responsibility for the consequences.

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