May 18, 2024 | Flash Brief

First Humanitarian Aid Arrives Through U.S.-Israeli Constructed Gaza Pier

May 18, 2024 | Flash Brief

First Humanitarian Aid Arrives Through U.S.-Israeli Constructed Gaza Pier

Latest Development

The White House said on May 17 that the first humanitarian aid to utilize the newly built temporary pier on the coast of Gaza was unloaded that morning. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said that military personnel operating the pier handed over “more than 300 pallets” to United Nations (UN) personnel in Gaza. U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a statement that the first trucks, which are driven by Department of Defense-contracted drivers, began moving aid along the pier at approximately 9 a.m. CENTCOM added that no U.S. troops went ashore in Gaza during the operation.

On May 16, CENTCOM announced that it successfully anchored a temporary aid pier — which the Pentagon calls the Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore (JLOTS) — to the Gazan coast.

Expert Analysis

“The Department of Defense deserves credit for pulling off this significant logistical feat. Now, the White House, the Pentagon, Congress, and our Israeli allies should focus on ensuring that sufficient security measures are in place to protect the pier and personnel there from attacks by terrorists from Hamas and other groups.” Bradley Bowman, Senior Director of FDD’s Center on Military and Political Power

“The Department of Defense overcame ship delays, a fire, storms, and a contested pier placement and — together with the Israel Defense Forces — delivered the pier on schedule. This will be a vital contribution to solving the challenge of delivering humanitarian aid in a secure manner.” RADM (Ret.) Mark Montgomery, FDD Senior Fellow and Senior Director of FDD’s Center on Cyber and Technology

Terrorist Groups Threaten Pier

The Pentagon said that no U.S. forces will be on the ground in Gaza to support the project. Instead, troops will facilitate the transfer of aid from large shipping vessels on the offshore platform, a few miles from the shore, and pilot the small army vessels transporting the aid truck to the causeway — where they would  be within range of terrorist fire.

On April 25, Gazan terrorists attacked the construction site for the pier’s marshaling area, causing minimal damage. On April 29, the Popular Resistance Committees warned that British forces who were being considered to deliver aid from the pier would be legitimate targets for attack.

Pentagon Expects to Deliver up to 150 Truckloads Per Day

The Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore system consists of two separate sections: a floating pier and a causeway pier anchored to the shore. The floating pier in the Mediterranean Sea, located several miles off the Gaza coast, will receive aid offloaded from cargo ships. U.S. troops will transfer the aid onto trucks, which are then driven onto smaller vessels operated by military personnel and transported to the causeway pier anchored to the shore. The trucks will then drive onto the causeway to the Israeli-built marshaling facility on shore which will be staffed by World Food Programme (WFP) personnel. There, the contents will be loaded onto delivery vehicles operated by aid groups to be distributed throughout Gaza.

Pentagon officials said that the pier will start delivering approximately 90 truckloads per day but will scale up to 150 trucks per day when fully operational. On April 29, Pentagon Deputy Spokeswoman Sabrina Singh told reporters that the pier would cost $320 million to build — significantly more than originally predicted, with costs escalating even further if the operation lasts longer than 90 days.

US built floating pier off Gaza could be operational in ‘days,’” by Seth J. Frantzman

U.S. Announces Completion of Gaza Aid Pier,” FDD Flash Brief

Gaza-based terrorist group threatens British forces if they begin to deliver aid from offshore pier,” by Joe Truzman

Terrorists Attack U.S. Pier Under Construction Off Gaza Coast,” FDD Flash Brief

Issues:

Israel Israel at War Military and Political Power