On Saturday, CENTCOM reported that while transporting humanitarian aid, the US floating dock became disconnected from a small boat tugging it. This resulted in the vessels breaking free from their moorings, with two of them now anchored on the beach near the pier. Part of the dock drifted towards Israel’s Ashdod shore, while the remaining vessels beached near Ashkelon on the Israeli coast.

No injuries have been reported, and recovery efforts are underway with the assistance of the Israeli and US navies. Al Jazeera’s Washington DC correspondent, Heidi Zhou-Castro, reported that the Pentagon emphasized the pier remains fully functional. The Department of Defense reiterated that no US personnel would enter Gaza during this operation.

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Completed in mid-May at a cost of $320 million, the floating pier was designed to facilitate aid delivery to the Gaza Strip. However, critics have labeled the project as a costly and complex solution, suggesting it diverts attention from simpler alternatives, such as opening all land crossings to Gaza to secure aid truck deliveries.

In March, US President Joe Biden highlighted the pier in his State of the Union address, asserting it would "receive large shipments carrying food, water, medicine, and temporary shelter." This move was largely seen as an attempt to appease his Democratic Party base ahead of the November re-election campaign.

On Friday, Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, stated that the World Food Programme (WFP) had taken possession of 97 trucks since the floating dock's operation commenced. “After a rocky start, the situation is stabilizing,” Dujarric said, but reiterated the UN's stance for massive aid deliveries via land routes.

Editor: Kemal Can Kayar