March 7, 2024 | Flash Brief

Biden to Announce U.S.-Built Gaza Aid Pier at State of the Union

March 7, 2024 | Flash Brief

Biden to Announce U.S.-Built Gaza Aid Pier at State of the Union

Latest Developments

President Biden will announce during his State of the Union address on March 7 that the U.S. military will build a floating pier in the Gaza Strip. The temporary pier will allow large cargo ships to deliver food and other aid into the enclave, which lacks a deep-water port. According to The New York Times, U.S. troops will construct the pier using American ships, then move it closer to shore and attach it to a temporary causeway. During a briefing with reporters, a senior U.S. administration official called the project an “emergency mission” and said the pier would take 30 to 60 days to construct — utilizing hundreds or thousands of U.S. troops in the region. The plan would not require the U.S. soldiers to come ashore.

One U.S. official said that Israel had worked with the United States and other nations to develop an inspection process that would require a review of the aid at Larnaca Port in Cyprus before its delivery to the new American pier. The Times of Israel reported that one U.S. official said: “We’re not waiting on the Israelis. This is a moment for American leadership, and we are building a coalition of countries to address this urgent need.” U.S. officials also said there is not yet a clear timeline for the pier’s construction as the Pentagon is working out how to ensure the pier’s security.

Expert Analysis

“The president’s proposal lacks critical specificity on what happens to aid when it gets to the port, who will control the port, how distribution will be more effective by using a port, how much this will cost, how he will protect the U.S. military from terror threats, and how he will secure the aid upon arrival until delivery. The bigger problem, however, is that the White House has forgotten the most basic truth — there is no future for the people of Gaza unless Hamas is completely destroyed. Every day the president pressures Israel not to finish its campaign is a day we delay a better future for the people of Gaza.” — Richard Goldberg, FDD Senior Advisor

“This will be a significant challenge for the U.S. military. Constructing and operating this temporary pier are enormous tasks that can go wrong in about 100 ways. It will also introduce a great deal of force protection risk during construction, installation, and operation of the facility.” RADM (Ret.) Mark Montgomery, FDD Senior Fellow and Senior Director of FDD’s Center on Cyber and Technology

International Air Drops

Several countries have started to increase the amount of aid dropped into Gaza, a method designed to reduce the risk of Hamas pillaging goods en route to needy civilians. Between February 27 and February 29, Egypt, France, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates dropped more than 35 tons of humanitarian aid into Gaza, including food and medical supplies. On March 7, the U.S. military airdropped more than 38,000 meals into Gaza.

No Limits on Gaza Aid

Israel has repeatedly emphasized that it is fighting against Hamas, not Palestinian civilians. Rejecting complaints from international agencies about the allegedly low volume of aid reaching Gaza, Israeli government spokesperson Eylon Levy said on January 17 that “Israel has excess capacity to inspect and process trucks” and that “there is no backlog and no limitation on our end.”

Israel continues to increase humanitarian aid shipments despite Hamas’s repeated theft of goods. “We want humanitarian aid to reach the people of Gaza. We are working around the clock to make this happen,” said Israeli military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari on February 29. “Israel puts no limits on the amount of aid that can go into Gaza.”

Stampede, Gunfire Near Gaza Aid Trucks,” FDD Flash Brief

Israel Facilitates Record Aid to Gaza,” FDD Flash Brief

Israel Expands Aid Access to Gaza,” FDD Flash Brief


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