Humanitarian aid from the Gaza pier
Humanitarian aid from the Gaza pierIDF spokesperson

Four US Army vessels supporting the humanitarian floating pier mission in Gaza became unmoored by rough seas on Saturday, NPR reported, citing military officials.

Two vessels are now anchored on a Gaza beach near the pier, US Central Command said in a statement. The other two are beached further north, on the coast of Israel near Ashkelon.

“The IDF is supporting the recovery efforts near the pier. No US personnel will enter Gaza. No injuries have been reported and the pier remains fully functional. We will release additional details as they become available,” the statement added.

A tugboat and a landing craft mechanized (LCM) washed ashore in Israel, a US official confirmed to NPR. LCMs transport vehicles and were notably used during World War II for amphibious landings of troops and tanks.

The incident comes two days after a US service member was hospitalized in critical condition after sustaining a non-combat injury while supporting humanitarian aid to Gaza.

The US military said last Friday that aid deliveries via the temporary pier in Gaza, aimed at ramping up emergency humanitarian assistance to the Strip, have begun.

The pier was successfully anchored a day earlier, with around 500 tons of aid expected to enter the Gaza Strip in the coming days.

President Joe Biden, in his State of the Union address in March, announced the plans for the temporary pier on the coast of Gaza that would receive large shipments carrying food, water, medicine and temporary shelter and provide aid to the Strip.

A day later, Biden said that Israel will provide security for the port he plans to build off the coast of Gaza that would provide aid to the Strip.