How an Aid Group Built a Jetty to Get Food Into Gaza

Just a few hours before sunset in mid-March, World Central Kitchen workers scrambled to put the final touches on a makeshift jetty built out of rubble, as the ship carrying the first aid to reach the Gaza Strip by sea in nearly two decades backed toward the shore.

The crew from the disaster relief nonprofit still had to cover the jetty’s sharp edges and poking rebar, reminders that the rubble used to build the structure in northern Gaza came from bombed buildings. Using square pieces of debris, they created a vertical concrete wall to meet the ship.

“Running any sort of construction project in Gaza at this current time has got a ridiculous amount of challenges,” said Sam Bloch, the director of emergency response for World Central Kitchen, which was founded by the renowned Spanish chef José Andrés. Mr. Bloch, who oversaw the building of the jetty and the arrival of the shipment, described the scene by phone from Oakland, Calif., after leaving Gaza.

The arrival of the ship, which had sailed from Cyprus after the aid was inspected there, marked a milestone in a venture that Western officials hope will play a part in easing the enclave’s food deprivation. The operation has been described as a pilot project for the broader opening of a maritime corridor to supply the territory.

Once the food was unloaded, it was distributed by truck, including in the northern part of Gaza, where experts say famine is imminent. International aid agencies have largely stopped operations in the area, citing Israeli restrictions, security issues and poor road conditions.

At least two attempts to deliver food aid to desperate Palestinians in northern Gaza have ended in bloodshed in recent weeks, with Palestinian and Israeli officials blaming each other for the deadly scenes.

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