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Three U.S. Servicemembers Injured in Gaza Humanitarian Mission, with One in Critical Condition

The person in critical condition has been sent to a medical facility in Israel, but the other two suffered “very minor” injuries and have returned to duty.

Defense officials announced Thursday that three United States servicemembers were injured in a humanitarian aid mission in Gaza, including one servicemember in critical condition.

The injured were not harmed in combat, according to Fox News. The person in critical condition has been sent to a medical facility in Israel, but the other two suffered "very minor" injuries and have returned to duty. One injury was a sprained ankle, and another person had a back injury.

"On May 23, a U.S. service member sustained a non-combat related injury aboard USNS Benavidez (T-AKR 306) while in support of the humanitarian aid mission to Gaza," a U.S. defense official told the outlet. "The service member was transported to a medical facility and is in critical condition at this time. More information will be provided as it becomes available."

It is not clear how the injuries on Thursday occurred, but they are the first injuries since the U.S. troops began delivering humanitarian aid in the Gaza Strip, according to Reuters.

The injuries come after a floating pier was anchored to a Gaza beach last week. Aid operations began last Friday and included 10 aid trucks that were driven by United Nations contractors to a World Food Programme warehouse. But only five trucks delivered supplies to Gaza on Saturday, after 11 trucks were intercepted by civilians.

"Crowds had stopped the trucks at various points along the way. There was … what I think I would refer to as self-distribution," U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Tuesday. "These trucks were traveling through areas where there'd been no aid. I think people feared that they would never see aid. They grabbed what they could."

U.S. Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, the deputy commander of U.S. Central Command, said humanitarian aid operations will continue.

“We’re clear eyed and we continue to look at force protection all day, every day and as it stands now we assess the operations can continue,” Cooper said.

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