First aid enters via US-built pier as strikes continue in Gaza

The first trucks began supplying aid to war-ravaged Gaza from a temporary pier on Friday, the U.S. military said, as fighting raged in the Palestinian territory.

U.S. Central Command said "trucks carrying humanitarian assistance began moving ashore" via the long-awaited pier, a day after it was anchored to a Gaza beach.

"This is an ongoing, multinational effort to deliver additional aid to Palestinian civilians in Gaza via a maritime corridor that is entirely humanitarian in nature," it said.

The U.S. military issued pictures showing aid being lifted onto a barge in the nearby Israeli port of Ashdod, adding on social media platform X that no U.S. troops went ashore.

In the coming days, Central Command says, around 500 tonnes of aid is expected to be brought via the pier to Gaza, where the United Nations has warned of a looming famine.

The aid is being transported from Cyprus, the European Union's easternmost member, about 360 kilometers (225 miles) from Gaza. The shipment includes EU supplies including 88,000 cans of food from Romania, the 27-member bloc said.

The EU welcomed the shipment but called on Israel to "expand deliveries by land and to immediately open additional crossings".

The U.N. has said repeatedly that overland deliveries are the only way of supplying aid in the volume needed.

But it welcomed the deliveries on Friday and said it had agreed to support the distribution of aid into Gaza from the floating dock.

 Attacks on aid trucks 

The plan to construct the pier was announced by U.S. President Joe Biden in March, as Israel held up deliveries of aid on the ground, worsening Gaza's dire humanitarian situation.

But aid deliveries have become increasingly...

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