June 19, 2024 | Flash Brief

U.S. To Reportedly Dismantle Gaza Aid Pier as Early as July

June 19, 2024 | Flash Brief

U.S. To Reportedly Dismantle Gaza Aid Pier as Early as July

Latest Developments

The U.S.-built temporary aid pier on the coast of Gaza may be dismantled sooner than expected, the New York Times reported on June 18. “The Biden administration initially predicted that it would be September before surging seas would make the pier inoperable,” the Times said. “But military officials are now warning aid organizations that the project could be dismantled as early as next month.” Asked about the New York Times report, Pentagon Press Secretary General Pat Ryder told reporters on June 18 that he did not “have any dates to announce, in terms of when it will cease operations.”

Expert Analysis

“The pier was political, not practical — it never made a lot of sense to do it this way. We should be helping the people of Gaza by supporting Israel in defeating Hamas and pushing allies to send aid through non-UNRWA channels — not with virtue signaling intended to amplify Hamas disinformation and undermine Israel.” — Richard Goldberg, FDD Senior Advisor

“There is a genuine humanitarian crisis in Gaza, caused both by the war Hamas started and the systematic strategy the terror group employs to maximize Palestinian suffering for the purposes of demonizing Israel and depriving it of American security assistance. Unlike Hamas, the Biden administration is actually trying to help Palestinians. It deserves credit for the pier effort, even if mother nature and terrorist organizations have presented genuine challenges.” — Bradley Bowman, Senior Director of FDD’s Center on Military and Political Power

Pier Faces Multiple Setbacks

The Pentagon announced on May 7 that the U.S. military had completed construction of the Gaza pier. However, bad weather initially prevented it from going into service. On May 17, the White House said that the first humanitarian aid to utilize the newly built temporary pier was unloaded that morning. The $320 million pier was operational for less than two weeks before it sustained damage on May 28 and was taken out of service for repairs. The pier reopened on June 7 after repairs before again being temporarily shut down from June 9-10 due to “high seas.”

The latest setback occurred on June 14, when U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) announced it would temporarily relocate the pier due to “expected high seas.” CENTCOM said that “after the period of expected high seas, the pier will be rapidly re-anchored to the coast of Gaza and resume delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza.” When asked by reporters on June 18 when the pier would resume operations, General Ryder said, “it will go operational again this week.”

The United States and Israel Facilitate Gaza Aid

Since the start of the war, 35,851 humanitarian aid trucks have been transferred to Gaza, Israel’s Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) announced on June 19. COGAT stated on June 18 that Israel facilitated the transfer of 305 humanitarian aid trucks. More than 3,500 metric tons of humanitarian aid have been delivered via the pier to humanitarian organizations in Gaza, CENTCOM reported on June 14.

In a further sign that the United Nations (UN) has fallen short of its aid distribution goals, COGAT also noted on June 18 that “the content of over 1,000 aid trucks” was sitting on the Gazan side of the Kerem Shalom border crossing waiting “to be picked up by UN aid agencies.”

The US-built pier for humanitarian aid delivery was always a long-shot,” by Seth J. Frantzman

Stung by Looting, UN Announces New Distribution Routes for Gaza Aid Delivered Through U.S.-Funded Pier,” FDD Flash Brief

Study Finds Food Aid to Gaza Exceeds International Standards,” FDD Flash Brief

Issues:

Israel Israel at War Military and Political Power