UN’s World Food Program Pauses Aid Deliveries in Gaza Through US-Built Pier

The announcement came amid allegations that Israel used the pier as part of its attack on Nuseirat

The UN’s World Food Program (WFP) has paused aid shipments into Gaza through the US-built pier just days after they resumed as the project continues to fail to bring any relief to starving Palestinians.

WFP chief Cindy McCain said the deliveries were paused due to safety concerns. The US-built pier was just reconnected to Gaza’s coast on Friday after being repaired from damage due to heavy seas.

“I’m concerned about the safety of our people,” she told CBS News on Monday. “We’ve stepped back for the moment … to make sure we’re on safe terms and on safe ground before we’ll restart. But the rest of the country is operational. We’re doing everything we can in the north and the south.”

McCain also said two WFP warehouses in the area were “rocketed” and that a staffer had been injured. She didn’t share details about the shelling of the warehouses, but it came as Israel significantly escalated its bombardment of central Gaza.

McCain’s comments come amid allegations that Israel used the US-built pier in its operation in central Gaza’s Nuseirat camp that killed over 200 Palestinians and freed four Israeli hostages. Video of an Israeli helicopter operated near the pier spread online, and Palestinians said Israeli special forces entered Nuseirat in an aid truck.

The Pentagon acknowledged that Israel operated “near” the pier but denied that it or any of the 1,000 US military personnel deployed off the coast were involved. “It was near, but I think it’s incidental. Again, the pier, the equipment, the personnel all supporting that humanitarian effort had nothing to do with the IDF rescue operation,” said Pentagon spokesman Pat Ryder.

Israel also denied that some of its forces entered Nuseirat in an aid truck, allegations that initially came from eyewitnesses speaking to the media. But on Monday, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) formally accused Israel of using an aid truck in the attack.

“The occupation forces deceived people by disguising themselves under the cover of aid that civilians desperately need amid their suffering from severe food insecurity,” the PRCS said. “This endangers the safety of relief teams.”

Other reports said some of the Israeli commandos who entered Nuseirat were disguised as displaced Palestinians from Rafah. The Israeli ground troops were supported by heavy Israeli airstrikes, and Gaza’s Health Ministry said 274 Palestinians were killed in the operation, including 64 children and 57 women. The US supported the massacre with intelligence, including information gathered by US MQ-9 Reaper drones that have been flying over Gaza.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.