April 26, 2024 | Flash Brief

Terrorists Attack U.S. Pier Under Construction Off Gaza Coast

April 26, 2024 | Flash Brief

Terrorists Attack U.S. Pier Under Construction Off Gaza Coast

Latest Developments

Terrorists conducted a mortar attack on a U.S. pier under construction off the Gaza coast, American defense officials said on April 25. Pentagon spokesman Maj. Gen. Patrick Ryder confirmed that mortars landed in an area being set up as the “marshaling area” for aid coming off the pier, causing minimal damage. Ryder said that U.S. troops and ships were “nowhere near mortar range” during the attack. Ryder added that the attack has not caused a delay in the pier’s construction and that it is expected to begin operating at the end of April or early May. While no group took responsibility for the attack, a Hamas official, Khalil al-Hayya, told the Associated Press that Hamas would resist any non-Palestinian force protecting the pier and consider it  “an occupying force and aggression.”

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) confirmed that terrorists fired mortars at UN officials and Israeli troops who were touring the site. The IDF said that troops rushed the officials to a shelter during the attack. “The terrorist organizations continue to systematically harm humanitarian efforts while risking the lives of UN workers, while Israel allows the supply of aid to the residents of the Gaza Strip,” the IDF said. The same day, the IDF approved a collaborative effort with U.S. Central Command to “provide security and logistics support” for the pier, also called the Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore (JLOTS) initiative.

Expert Analysis

“We should expect the terrorists in Gaza who started the war on October 7, hide beneath families, and divert money and concrete from schools to terror tunnels to also attack international efforts to bring food to hungry civilians.” Bradley Bowman, Senior Director of FDD’s Center on Military and Political Power

“Ensuring that American servicemembers who are helping deliver aid to Palestinian civilians are sufficiently protected from an attack by Hamas or other Iranian-backed terror organizations should be a priority for the Biden administration.” — Ryan Brobst, FDD Senior Research Analyst

Pier Expected to Become Operational Soon

President Joe Biden announced the effort to build the pier during his State of the Union address on March 7. The temporary, floating pier would allow large cargo ships to deliver food and other aid to the coastal enclave, which lacks a deep-water port. According to a senior U.S. military official, aid would be inspected and loaded onto cargo ships in Cyprus, approximately 200 miles from the pier.

The ship will dock at a floating pier a few miles from shore, where the cargo will be transferred to smaller U.S. military Logistical Support Vessels (LSVs), which can carry 15 truckloads of aid, and to Landing Craft Utility vessels (LCUs), which can carry about five truckloads of aid. These vessels will shuttle the aid to a temporary causeway affixed to the Gazan shore and unload for distribution. These vessels, operated by U.S. military personnel, will be within range of terrorist fire when approaching the causeway.

Israel Continues to Facilitate Aid

According to Israel’s Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the agency responsible for coordinating international aid to Gaza, 344 aid trucks crossed into Gaza on April 25 — 151 of them containing food. The contents of another 300 trucks are awaiting distribution by UN aid agencies on the Gazan side of the border. Additionally, 199 pallets containing tens of thousands of packages of food were airdropped over northern Gaza.

Israeli Troops to Provide Protection for Gaza Aid Pier,” FDD Flash Brief

Israel Increases Humanitarian Aid Transfers to Gaza,” FDD Flash Brief

Hamas Warns Gazans Against Cooperating With Israel on Aid Delivery,” FDD Flash Brief

Biden to Announce U.S.-Built Gaza Aid Pier at State of the Union,” FDD Flash Brief


Israel Israel at War Military and Political Power U.S. Defense Policy and Strategy