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Aid for Gaza still leaving Cyprus by sea while US military pier is being fixed

Humanitarian aid for Gaza was continuing to leave Cyprus by sea at the weekend, despite the US military pier used for direct delivery to Gaza being out of commission.

The aid will be held in floating storage off the coast of Gaza until the pier is fixed, a Cypriot government official said on Thursday May 30th.

The US military announced early last week that a purpose-built jetty it anchored off Gaza’s coast to receive aid by sea would have to be removed temporarily after part of the structure broke off, two weeks after it started operating. The cause was attributed to bad weather.

Cyprus government spokesperson Konstantinos Letymbiotis said the offloading of aid for Gaza had slowed down, but that the sea corridor had not ceased operating. “The mechanism surrounding how the floating pier works allows for the possibility of floating storage off Gaza, with offloading to resume when conditions allow,” Letymbiotis said.

Aid from France was expected to depart for Gaza from Cyprus on Thursday, while 3,000 tons of US aid was due to leave early this week, Letymbiotis said.

The UAE, UK, US, Romania, Italy, the European Mechanism for Civil Protection, the World Food Programme and the International Organization for Migration had already donated aid destined for the pier, he said.

In Washington, a Pentagon spokesperson said a portion of the pier had separated and it would be towed to the Israeli port of Ashdod for repairs. It was hoped that the repairs could be expedited promptly and that the pier would only be out of action for a few days.

Letymbiotis said that 11 ship-shuttles of aid had left Cyprus since the operation started, with enough aid already distributed in Gaza to “provide food to tens of thousands of non-combatants for a month,”