US aims to reopen Gaza pier this week to resume humanitarian aid deliveries

US aims to reopen Gaza pier this week to resume humanitarian aid deliveries

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A pier built by the U.S. military to deliver aid to Gaza is expected to reopen, despite being closed twice as the fighting between Israel and Hamas continues. 

Pentagon press secretary Air Force Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters the U.S. is aiming to get it back online sometime this week but no specific date was mentioned. 

“Of course, as I just mentioned, we’re looking forward to getting it operational again soon and to delivering aid,” he said Wednesday. “And, you know, we’re going to capitalize on, on the conditions. You know, in terms of whether to get as much aid across that pier as we can.”


The U.S. military installed the pier last month to deliver badly needed humanitarian aid into the enclave besieged by over eight months of intense fighting in the Israel-Hamas war.  (U.S. Army via AP)

The U.S. has spent some $320 million building the pier in the Mediterranean Sea to facilitate the delivery of aid into Gaza. But there have been chaotic scenes of hundreds of Palestinians looting aid convoys, and the structure has been battered by choppy weather.

The pier has faced challenges since opening in late May, including choppy weather that battered the structure, forcing it to go offline. Prior to that, four vessels that had stabilized the pier broke off due to choppy waters, which forced its closure.

Gaza pier with aid trucks passing through

Trucks loaded with humanitarian aid from the United Arab Emirates and the United States Agency for International Development cross the Trident Pier before arriving on the beach in Gaza, May 17, 2024. (Staff Sgt. Malcolm Cohens-Ashley/U.S. Army Central via AP)

The Biden administration announced plans for the pier in March as a way to get crucial aid to Palestinians as basic necessities remain scarce in Gaza. 

The pier’s failure has come as Israel conducts a sizable operation in Rafah, with tanks rolling into the heart of the city for the first time since the war began.

The pier in the Gaza Strip

The image provided by U.S., Central Command, shows U.S. Army soldiers assigned to the 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary), U.S. Navy sailors assigned to Amphibious Construction Battalion 1, and Israel Defense Forces placing the Trident Pier on the coast of the Gaza Strip on Thursday, May 16, 2024. The temporary pier is part of the Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore capability.  (U.S. Central Command via AP)


Ryder said he wasn’t aware of plans to dismantle the pier.

“I’m not tracking any established timeline at this point, in terms of when the pier will stop operating, again with the caveat that this was always intended to be a temporary pier,” he said. “I’m not aware at this point of any established date of this is when we’re going to stop.”

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