US Will Store Aid on Secure Beach in Gaza as UN Pauses Distribution from Pier 

A truck carries humanitarian aid across Trident Pier, a temporary pier to deliver aid, off the Gaza Strip, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, near the Gaza coast, May 19, 2024. (US Army Central Command/Handout via Reuters)
A truck carries humanitarian aid across Trident Pier, a temporary pier to deliver aid, off the Gaza Strip, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, near the Gaza coast, May 19, 2024. (US Army Central Command/Handout via Reuters)
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US Will Store Aid on Secure Beach in Gaza as UN Pauses Distribution from Pier 

A truck carries humanitarian aid across Trident Pier, a temporary pier to deliver aid, off the Gaza Strip, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, near the Gaza coast, May 19, 2024. (US Army Central Command/Handout via Reuters)
A truck carries humanitarian aid across Trident Pier, a temporary pier to deliver aid, off the Gaza Strip, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, near the Gaza coast, May 19, 2024. (US Army Central Command/Handout via Reuters)

The US military said Monday that it plans to stockpile aid shipments on a secure beach in Gaza during a UN pause on distributing food from the American-built pier after one of the deadliest days of the Israel-Hamas war.

The UN World Food Program, which works with US officials to transfer desperately needed aid from the month-old pier to warehouses and local relief teams in Gaza, tweeted Monday that the UN would conduct a security review to assess the safety of its staff in handling aid deliveries from the pier. It said the pause would be temporary.

A humanitarian official familiar with the situation said the security review is expected to conclude within a few days and UN officials would then make decisions on resuming operations. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss planning.

The pause, which WFP head Cindy McCain first announced in a TV interview Sunday, is the latest trouble to hit the Biden administration's new sea route for bringing in aid to Palestinians. It also signals sharpened concern by the UN and relief organizations about their ability to safely care for Gaza's civilians during the eight-month-old war.

The review follows an Israeli military operation on Saturday that rescued four Israeli hostages taken by Hamas on Oct. 7, in the attack that triggered the war, and left 274 Palestinians and one Israeli commando dead.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said “it’s only normal” that UN humanitarian officials pause and review the security situation following the Israeli operation. McCain said Sunday that two of WFP’s warehouses had been “rocketed” and a staffer injured.

When such large-scale military operations take place, Dujarric said, “you can only imagine the difficulties in distributing the aid, both for the safety of those who are trying to get it and those who are trying to distribute it.”

Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder, Pentagon press secretary, said the delivery of aid from Cyprus to the pier was paused due to high seas Sunday and Monday but would resume Tuesday. He said there is enough space for aid to be stored in a secure holding area on the beach until agencies restart distribution into Gaza.

“It’s a pretty large area,” he told reporters. “I think we can continue to stockpile aid in the assembly area for onward distribution.”

The pause came just a day after the US military and the US Agency for International Development, which is coordinating logistics with relief groups, said Saturday that the pier restarted operations after repairs. Part of the structure broke apart in rough seas and bad weather late last month.

Saturday's fighting, followed by the pause for the security review, blocked the planned distribution of aid from the pier, the humanitarian official said.

President Joe Biden ordered the US military to construct the pier in March, in hopes of carving out an alternative aid route as the fighting and Israeli restrictions sharply limit shipments through land borders. But rough seas in the Mediterranean, insecurity within Gaza and a surge in fighting since early May mean the pier, completed in mid-May, has been able to operate for only about a week.

Ryder, pushing back against claims on social media, denied that any aspect of the pier or its equipment had been used in Saturday's military operation. The Pentagon says an area south of the pier was used for the return of the freed hostages back to Israel.

“Particularly in this environment, given what you’re seeing play out in the Israel-Hamas conflict, there is a lot of misinformation and disinformation about what U.S. forces are or are not doing,” he told reporters.

Ryder said the US did an air drop of more than 10 metric tons of ready-to-eat meals Sunday.

US and international officials and private aid organizations say only a steady daily flow of hundreds of truck shipments through land borders can address the need for food and emergency aid in Gaza. More than 1 million people there are facing famine and all 2.3 million are struggling for food.



More than a 100 Killed in Gaza in 24 Hours

Smoke from Israeli bombardment billows in the background near an area previously housing displaced Palestinians leaving Rafah towards Khan Younis on June 20, 2024, in the southern Gaza Strip, amid the ongoing conflict in the Palestinian territory between Israel and Hamas. (AFP)
Smoke from Israeli bombardment billows in the background near an area previously housing displaced Palestinians leaving Rafah towards Khan Younis on June 20, 2024, in the southern Gaza Strip, amid the ongoing conflict in the Palestinian territory between Israel and Hamas. (AFP)
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More than a 100 Killed in Gaza in 24 Hours

Smoke from Israeli bombardment billows in the background near an area previously housing displaced Palestinians leaving Rafah towards Khan Younis on June 20, 2024, in the southern Gaza Strip, amid the ongoing conflict in the Palestinian territory between Israel and Hamas. (AFP)
Smoke from Israeli bombardment billows in the background near an area previously housing displaced Palestinians leaving Rafah towards Khan Younis on June 20, 2024, in the southern Gaza Strip, amid the ongoing conflict in the Palestinian territory between Israel and Hamas. (AFP)

 At least 42 people were killed in Israeli attacks on districts of Gaza City in the north of the Palestinian enclave on Saturday, the director of the Hamas-run government media office said.
One Israeli strike on houses in Al-Shati, one of the Gaza Strip's eight historic refugee camps, killed 24 people, Ismail Al-Thawabta told Reuters. Another 18 Palestinians were killed in a strike on houses in the Al-Tuffah neighborhood.

The offensive has left Gaza in ruins, killed more than 37,400 people, of whom 101 were killed in the past 24 hours, according to Palestinian health authorities, and left nearly the entire population homeless and destitute.

The Israeli military released a brief statement saying: "A short while ago, army fighter jets struck two Hamas military infrastructure sites in the area of Gaza City."
It said more details would be released soon.
Hamas did not comment on the Israeli claim to have hit its military infrastructure. It said in a statement the attacks targeted the civilian population and vowed in a statement "the occupation and its Nazi leaders will pay the price for their violations against our people."
Footage obtained by Reuters showed dozens of Palestinians rushing out to search for victims amid the destroyed houses. The footage showed wrecked homes, blasted walls, and debris and dust filling the street in Shati refugee camp.

More than eight months into the war, Israel's advance is now focused on the two last areas its forces had yet to seize: Rafah on Gaza's southern edge and the area surrounding Deir al-Balah in the centre.
Residents said Israeli tanks deepened their incursion into western and northern Rafah areas in recent days. On Saturday Israeli forces bombed several areas from air and the ground, forcing many families living in areas described as humanitarian-designated zones to leave northwards.
The Israeli military said forces continued "precise, intelligence-based" targeted operations in Rafah, killing many Palestinian gunmen and dismantling military infrastructure.
On Friday, the Gaza health ministry said at least 25 Palestinians were killed in Mawasi in western Rafah and 50 wounded. Palestinians said a tank shell hit a tent housing displaced families.