Trident Pier
File photo: A truck carries humanitarian aid across Trident Pier, a temporary pier to deliver aid, off the Gaza Strip, near the Gaza coast, on May 19, 2024. Image Credit: US Army Central/REUTERS

Washington: The United States on Friday reestablished a temporary pier to boost aid deliveries into Gaza after the structure suffered storm damage and underwent repairs in a nearby port, the country's military said.

Gaza has been devastated by nine months of Israeli operations against Palestinian militant group Hamas that have uprooted the coastal territory's population and left them in dire need of humanitarian assistance.

"US Central Command (CENTCOM) successfully reestablished the temporary pier in Gaza, enabling the continued delivery of much-needed humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza," the military command responsible for the Middle East said in a social media post.

Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, deputy head of CENTCOM, told journalists that "we expect to resume delivery of humanitarian assistance from the sea in the coming days."

"The policy of no US boots on the ground does remain in effect," so Israeli forces assisted with the process on shore, Cooper said.

"The Israeli Defense Force engineers were the enabling force on the beach," he said, noting that "this is the same unit that we trained several months ago in how to conduct this operation."

More than two million pounds of humanitarian aid were delivered via the pier last month, but it was damaged by high seas around a week after deliveries began.

Air drops to resume

"Aid from the pier to the people of Gaza was the second-highest volume of aid entering Gaza from any crossing during that period," Cooper said.

"Given its proven success, we expect to increase the volume of humanitarian assistance provided through the pier over the previous levels," he said.

The pier was repaired in the Israeli port of Ashdod before being brought back to the Gaza coast and reestablished on Friday.

Plans for the pier were first announced by US President Joe Biden in early March as Israel held up deliveries of assistance, and US Army troops and vessels soon set out on a lengthy trip to the Mediterranean to build the pier.

In addition to working to establish a maritime corridor for aid shipments, the United States has delivered assistance by air, but the air drops were suspended due to fighting in northern Gaza.

"We do expect those to resume here in the coming days," Cooper said.