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Biden’s Gaza Pier Breaks in Less Than Two Weeks

The Biden administration’s pier in Gaza was damaged and broke apart due to heavy seas on Tuesday. The temporary pier, officially named the Joint Logistics Over the Shore (JLOTS), was constructed by the U.S. military to provide Gaza with humanitarian aid and cost American taxpayers $320 million.

Pentagon deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh said Tuesday that “damaged and sections of the pier need rebuilding and repairing,” before it can be used again. Over the following days, the U.S. military will have to remove the pier from its current location and transport it to the Israeli port of Ashdod. U.S. Central Command will be tasked with repairing the pier, which Singh said should take “at least over a week.”

“From when it was operational, it was working, and we just had sort of an unfortunate confluence of weather storms that made it inoperable for a bit,” Singh told members of the press. “Hopefully just a little over a week, we should be back up and running.”

After the repairs are complete, the U.S. military will have to transport the pier back to Gaza and anchor it offshore.

The pier was in operation for only a week before rough seas forced the pier to stop receiving shipments on May 24. 

The stoppage was all too predictable. Rough seas prevented the use of the pier for weeks until May 17. For U.S. personnel to safely use the pier, calm conditions are required—the pier can only operate safely if the waves do not exceed three feet and wind speeds are less than 15 miles per hour. 

Things went from bad to worse for the Gaza pier humanitarian effort on Sunday when the parking area for vessels carrying humanitarian aid disconnected from the main causeway. Prior to the decision to shut the pier down, heavy seas forced two U.S. Army vessels to beach in Israel. The chop caused two other ships to break free of their moorings on the pier. After breaking loose, the ships dropped anchor nearby.

In the meantime, “thousands and thousands of tons” of aid remain in Cyprus, according to USAID’s Levant Response Management Team Director Daniel Dieckhaus. One wonders who is footing the bill for that, too.

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