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US soldier seriously injured in non-combat incident at Gaza pier

US soldier seriously injured in non-combat incident at Gaza pier
US soldier seriously injured in non-combat incident at Gaza pier

 


A U.S. soldier deployed to the Gaza Pier mission is in critical condition after being injured Thursday in a non-combat incident and evacuated to a hospital in Israel, a defense official confirmed to Military.com .

Two other soldiers were also injured and have since returned to duty.

According to the official, the injury occurred on the transit platform two miles off the coast of Gaza that was used to transfer aid from the large cargo ship MV Roy P. Benavidez to smaller military craft that would then transport aid to the causeway on the Gaza coast.

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USNI News was the first media outlet to report that the injury occurred on the transit platform. The seriously injured soldier had not been identified as of Friday afternoon. Names are generally being withheld until family is notified.

Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, deputy commander of U.S. Central Command, told reporters Thursday that three service members were recently injured during the aid operation, but he declined to provide details on the most serious injuries.

“One just had a sprained ankle, the other…had a back injury…and I won't go into detail about the other one,” Cooper said.

When asked for more details, Cooper cited privacy concerns, but refused to even say what branch the injured service members were from.

U.S. Central Command later issued a brief statement saying the serious injuries actually occurred on the Benavidez and not on the transit platform.

The Army completed construction of the floating pier – called Operation Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore, or JLOTS – earlier this month. It was installed to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza to help Palestinians facing famine as food and other supplies dried up amid the war between Israel and Hamas.

However, the project has been criticized by various groups. Those who care about the well-being of the Palestinian people have argued that this effort is insufficient to avoid the mass famine the region currently faces. Others argued that the effort unnecessarily put U.S. troops at risk or expressed concerns about the condition of JLOTS equipment.

At a media event Thursday, officials said that since the opening of the JLOTS pier, 820 tons of aid have been delivered to the beach and 506 tons of aid have been distributed from the beach transfer point to the population of Gaza by the United Nations. .

Daniel Dieckhaus, director of USAID's Levant Response Management Team, said that “by our calculations, this is enough food to feed tens of thousands of people for a month.”

In contrast, U.S. Central Command dropped about 1,220 tons of aid via airdrops between March and May.

However, international experts told The Associated Press that Gaza's 2.3 million residents are now experiencing severe food shortages and about half are at “catastrophic” levels.

The detailed figures follow reports that at least one truck was robbed of aid after leaving the dock area. Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters earlier in the week that he could not say whether the aid was reaching the Palestinians.

Dieckhaus said that “the desired impact we are aiming for – and which requires many of the elements we are working on to be put in place – is to feed and assist at least 500,000 people or more per month via the maritime corridor.”

“It's a laudable goal, it's an ambitious goal. We hope to exceed it, but it involves a lot of things,” he added.

Related: Pentagon says no food aid delivered via Gaza pier reached Palestinians

The story continues

Sources

1/ https://Google.com/

2/ https://www.military.com/daily-news/2024/05/24/us-soldier-critically-injured-noncombat-incident-gaza-pier.html

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