The US military said the first aid ship was sent through a newly built US port inside the Gaza Strip.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Israel imposed restrictions on border crossings and crossings into the besieged enclave for the first time Friday as trucks carrying much-needed aid to the Gaza Strip passed through a newly built U.S. ship. Fierce fight There was disruption in the supply of food and other supplies.

The ship is the first in an operation that U.S. military officials expect to be able to handle up to 150 truckloads a day as Israel squeezes the southern city of Rafah in its 7-month offensive against Hamas.

But the US and aid groups warn that the floating ship program is no substitute for land delivery. Bring all necessary food, water and fuel In Gaza. Before the war, an average of more than 500 trucks entered the territory per day.

The The success of surgery is also low The Israeli blockade of Gaza after Hamas’s October 7 attack has increased the risk of militant attacks, logistical bottlenecks and fuel shortages for trucks. Militants killed 1,200 people and took 250 hostages in that attack on southern Israel. The Israeli offensive has killed more than 35,000 Palestinians in Gaza, local health officials say, and hundreds more in the West Bank.

Aid agencies say southern Gaza is running out of food and running low on fuel, while the US Agency for International Development and the World Food Program say Famine has already taken hold North of Gaza.

Troops finished installing the flotation vessel on Thursday, and the U.S. military’s Central Command said the first aid had flown into Gaza at 9 a.m. Friday. It said no US troops went ashore in the operation.

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“This is an ongoing, international effort to provide additional assistance to Palestinian civilians in Gaza via an entirely humanitarian sea route, and includes aid items donated by many countries and humanitarian organizations,” the command said.

The Pentagon said no backup was expected Distribution processIt is coordinated by the United Nations.

However, the UN said that all fuel supplies brought by land routes had been cut off, making it very difficult to deliver aid to the people of Gaza.

“We desperately need fuel,” said UN Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq. “It doesn’t matter how the aid comes, whether it’s by sea or by land, without fuel, people can’t get help.”

Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said the issue of fuel supplies comes up in all U.S. conversations with the Israelis. He said the plan is to start slow on the sea route and increase truck deliveries over time.

Israel fears that Hamas will use the fuel in the war, but insists it does not impose limits on humanitarian aid and has blamed the UN for delays in delivering supplies into Gaza. Under pressure from the United States, Israel has opened a pair of crossings in recent weeks to deliver aid to the region’s hardest-hit north.

It said a series of attacks by Hamas on the main crossing of Kerem Shalom disrupted the flow of goods. The UN says fighting, Israeli fire and chaotic security conditions are hampering the delivery. There have also been violent protests by Israelis that have disrupted aid shipments.

Israel recently seized its main Rafah border crossing from Hamas around the Egyptian border, raising fears for civilian safety while cutting off a key entry point for aid to the Gaza Strip.

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US President Joe Biden ordered the shipbuilding project, which is expected to cost $320 million. Aid boats will be docked at an Israeli-built port facility southwest of Gaza City. Distributed by support groups.

U.S. officials said the initial shipment had a total of 500 tons of aid. The U.S. is coordinating closely with Israel on how to protect ships and personnel working offshore.

But there are still questions about the safety of aid workers distributing food, said Sonali Korte, assistant administrator for USAID’s Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance, which is helping with logistics.

“There is a very insecure operating environment,” and aid groups are still struggling to get permission for their planned operations in Gaza, Korte said.

That concern was highlighted during last month’s Israeli attack It killed seven aid workers from the World Central Kitchen whose trip was coordinated with the Israeli authorities. The group has also brought aid by sea.

Pentagon officials have made it clear that security conditions will be closely monitored and could prompt a shutdown of the sea route, even if only temporarily. Navy Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, deputy commander of U.S. Army Central Command, told reporters Thursday, “We are confident in the ability of this security arrangement to protect those involved.”

Already, the site has been targeted with mortar shells during its construction, and Hamas has threatened to target any foreign forces that “occupy” the Gaza Strip.

Biden has made it clear that there will be no US troops in Gaza, so third-country contractors will drive the trucks ashore.

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Israeli forces are in charge of security ashore, but two U.S. Navy warships are also nearby that can protect U.S. troops and others.

Seaborne aid is collected and inspected in Cyprus, then loaded onto ships and transported some 200 miles (320 kilometers). Large floating ship On the coast of Gaza. There, the pallets are transferred to trucks, which then move to military barges, which transport the trucks from the pier to a floating causeway anchored on the beach. Once the trucks drop off the aid, they return to the boats.


Gambrell reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

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