update deskU.S. News

US to permanently remove Gaza aid pier

The $230 million floating dock has been beset by problems since operations began in May.

Humanitarian aid reaches Gaza via the temporary Trident Pier, June 11, 2024. Staff Sgt. Mikayla Fritz/U.S. Army Photo.
Humanitarian aid reaches Gaza via the temporary Trident Pier, June 11, 2024. Staff Sgt. Mikayla Fritz/U.S. Army Photo.

The United States military is pulling the plug on a Gaza aid pier that has been plagued with problems since it began operations in May, the Associated Press reported on Tuesday, citing several American officials.

Announced by President Joe Biden at his State of the Union address in March, the $230 million floating dock was intended to increase the flow of humanitarian aid via a Mediterranean sea route from Cyprus. More than 19.4 million pounds (8.6 million kilograms) of aid has entered the enclave since it was installed.

It will be reinstalled on Wednesday for several days to clear out the remaining aid that has piled up in Cyprus and get it on to the Gaza beach before the project is dismantled permanently.

The pier was damaged by high winds and heavy seas in late May and removed for repairs after only around a week of operation. Four support boats broke off from the structure and became beached and a portion of the causeway was damaged and broke off.

It was reconnected on June 7 but removed again due to bad weather on June 14. It was put back days later but was removed again on June 28 due to heavy seas.

Parts of the pier washed up at Tel Aviv’s Frishman Beach in late June.

In the first week after the pier became operational, some three-fourths of the humanitarian aid transported from the dock was stolen by unspecified Palestinian actors while en route to a U.N. warehouse.

David Friedman, the former U.S. ambassador to Israel during the Trump administration, has said that “this pier was a massive waste of money that had no value other than virtue signaling to Biden’s base.”

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