update deskIsrael at War

US Gaza aid pier to cost $320 million

The cost has roughly doubled from initial estimates.

The pier under construction by the U.S. military on the Gaza coast, April 30, 2024. Credit: CENTCOM.
The pier under construction by the U.S. military on the Gaza coast, April 30, 2024. Credit: CENTCOM.

The cost of the U.S.-led effort to build a pier off the coast of Gaza to deliver humanitarian aid to the Strip has risen to $320 million, nearly double initial estimates, Reuters reported on Monday.

A Pentagon spokesman confirmed last Thursday that the U.S. military had started constructing the pier to boost aid deliveries. The project reportedly involves 1,000 American soldiers, who will not have boots on the ground in Gaza.

“The cost has not just risen. It has exploded,” U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), the top Republican on the Democratic-led Senate Armed Services Committee, told Reuters.

“This dangerous effort with marginal benefit will now cost the American taxpayers at least $320 million to operate the pier for only 90 days,” he added.

“For every day this mission continues, the price tag goes up and so does the level of risk for the 1,000 deployed troops within range of Hamas’s rockets,” he added.

In his March 7 State of the Union address, U.S. President Joe Biden announced the establishment of a floating pier to deliver supplies.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant welcomed the initiative, saying that it would help collapse Hamas.

“We will ensure that the aid reaches those to whom it should get to and that it does not reach those to whom it should not get to,” he said.

The Israeli military previously confirmed that its troops would provide “security and logistical support” for the project, “further demonstrating the IDF’s commitment to working with the international community to ensure the continuous entry of humanitarian aid to the civilian population in the Gaza Strip.”

On Wednesday, Israel Defense Forces troops secured U.N. officials who came under mortar fire when touring the under-construction pier.

The soldiers rushed the officials to shelter after Palestinian terrorists launched projectiles at the installation.

“The terrorist organizations continue to systematically harm humanitarian efforts while risking the lives of U.N. workers, even as Israel allows the supply of aid to the residents of the Gaza Strip,” said the IDF.

The United States hopes to begin delivering aid using the new pier by early May. A senior American official, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity last week, said the sea route will initially total 90 trucks daily, which could quickly rise to about 150.

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