US Vessels Supporting Gaza Pier Wash Ashore

President Joe Biden’s $320 million plan to create a sea route for aid into Gaza faces another setback

Four vessels, part of the US-built pier stretching from Gaza thousands of feet into the Mediterranean Sea, have broken off and washed ashore. In early March, Joe Biden used his platform at the State of the Union to order the military to create a sea route to bring aid to the starving Palestinians. Nearly three months later, the pier has faced a series of cost overruns, injuries, and other setbacks.

On Saturday morning, rough seas broke off four vessels that appear to be serving as part of the pier. “The vessels broke free from their moorings and two vessels are now anchored on the beach near the pier. The third and fourth vessels are beached on the coast of Israel near Ashkelon. Efforts to recover the vessels are underway with assistance from the Israeli Navy,” a statement from US Central Command (CENTCOM) explained.

The Pentagon claims no US soldiers will enter Gaza to recover the pieces of the pier, and the Israeli military is helping to recover the four vessels. The Department of Defense said no one was injured in the incident and the pier is still functional.

Since Biden announced the pier, whose cost has doubled, has resulted in three US soldiers being injured and very little aid entering Gaza. The US hopes that 150 trucks of aid will enter Gaza each day through the pier. However, during the first week of operations only 21 trucks of assistance reached the Strip through the pier. 41 trucks were reported to have delivered food by the May 23.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the process the aid must go through to enter Gaza via the sea route has a series of potential pitfalls. In Cyprus, the aid “is screened and packaged onto shipping pallets. A large military or commercial ship then transports the pallets some 200 miles across the Mediterranean Sea to a floating platform built by the US,” the writers explained.

“There, the pallets are put into trucks, which are driven onto smaller military vessels that carry them about 6 miles to a floating US-built causeway secured to the beach by Israeli army engineers.” The WSJ adds, “The trucks drive a few hundred feet down the causeway and onto the beach. In a zone protected by Israeli soldiers, aid workers transfer the pallets onto a separate fleet of trucks that are used by aid groups to complete the final leg to warehouses and distribution points inside Gaza.”

The trucks that do make it to Gaza have faced restrictions placed by the Israeli military and starving Palestinians attempting to loot the trucks.

The lack of aid reaching Gaza is not the only problem the pier has encountered. On Thursday, the Pentagon reported three US soldiers suffered non-combat injuries. Additionally, Biden has been criticized by human rights groups for choosing to set up a complex sea route when he could pressure Israel to allow more aid into Gaza by land, a far faster method.

Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson of UN chief Antonio Guterres, said that the World Food Program explained, “What we want to see, as we’ve been saying, is massive aid coming in through land routes.”

The pier’s latest failure comes as nearly all 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza are struggling to find anything to eat, with many already suffering in famine conditions. Several aid distribution agencies in Gaza have shut down over a lack of supplies caused by Israeli military operations.

Kyle Anzalone is the opinion editor of, news editor of the Libertarian Institute, and co-host of Conflicts of Interest.