Pentagon To Resume Gaza Aid Pier for Now

The military-led effort to ship supplies into Gaza has fallen far short of the Biden administration’s initial goals

The US military will restart aid operations using the temporary, newly repaired pier deployed near Gaza’s coast. This comes days after the structure was moved due to damage incurred by bad weather. The resumption of aid deliveries follows reports that the Pentagon could soon end the project, which multiple humanitarian organizations have criticized as woefully inadequate in any case.

According to unnamed US officials cited by Reuters and the Associated Press, the pier was expected to resume operations on Thursday, having been towed back to Gaza the day prior. The structure was moved to waters off Ashdod, Israel, last week for the second time during high seas, which previously caused severe damage to the pier.

Known as the Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore (JLOTS), the floating pier and causeway were constructed by the US military last March and began facilitating aid shipments in May.

While the effort reportedly cost the US taxpayer some $320 million – not including the price of repairs – it has been operational for only 10 days since it went online on May 17, according to the New York Times. In addition to stormy weather conditions, logistical and security complications have prompted several delays and pauses.

The Joe Biden administration had voiced high hopes for the pier, predicting it could eventually transfer 150 truckloads of aid into Gaza each day. Bogged down by near-constant problems, however, the structure has moved the equivalent of just seven trucks daily, aid groups told NYT.

The pier project has come under fire from numerous humanitarian organizations, which have instead pushed to deliver the aid by land, arguing the sea route is fraught with practical challenges amid Israel’s months-long bombing campaign.

“We continue to stress the fact that there are much easier and cost-efficient means to deliver aid, which are the [border] crossings, which aren’t operating at full capacity,” Shaina Low, a spokesperson for the Norwegian Refugee Council, told the New Humanitarian. “We know that there are hundreds of trucks just waiting outside of Gaza on the Egyptian side of the border, waiting to get in.”

Though the pier was originally set to be dismantled sometime in September, when yearly weather changes would make operations impossible, unnamed officials told the NYT earlier this week that the structure could be removed as early as next month. While they did not specify a reason, the officials said the move could pressure Israel to reopen more land routes into Gaza, virtually all of which have been closed due to the ongoing war.

Will Porter is assistant news editor at the Libertarian Institute and a regular contributor at Find more of his work at Consortium News and ZeroHedge.