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America’s Costly Gaza Humanitarian Pier, Which Has Spent More Time Out Of Commission Than It’s Actually Been In Operation, To Be Scrapped

The Pentagon’s Gaza humanitarian pier project, which has been troubled from day one and spent more time out of commission than it’s actually been in operation, will soon be scrapped altogether, the Associated Press reports Tuesday.

The report says this is the ‘final blow’ for the pier after rough seas left it needing constant pauses for repairs: “The pier built by the U.S. military to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza will be reinstalled Wednesday to be used for several days, but then the plan is to pull it out permanently, several U.S. officials said.”

Thus it looks like it will not longer be there by the end of this month. “The officials said the goal is to clear whatever aid has piled up in Cyprus and on the floating dock offshore and get it to the secure area on the beach in Gaza,” the report adds, and notes that’s when the army will begin the final dismantle.

The pier had allowed for the delivery of nearly 20 million pounds of food to the starving Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip, but persistent high and choppy seas caused many lengthy stoppages. At one point last month large pieces of the pier actually broke off and washed up north on an Israel beach, with US vessels also getting stuck attempting to retrieve the pieces.

Part of the Pentagon rationale for dismantling the whole thing is that the weather is only set to get worse, and that the Biden-ordered initiative was to be temporary to begin with. For a brief timeline and partial review of recent problems:

  • May 25: pier was damaged by seas and high winds
  • Removed for repairs
  • June 7: finally reconnected after a couple weeks
  • June 14: inclement weather leads to pier removal again
  • Days later it is put back
  • June 28: heavy seas result in removal again
  • Out of commission again for nearly a couple of weeks

First announced as a White House aim in March during President Biden’s State of the Union address, the pier required hundreds of millions of dollars and the work of some 1,000 service members to plan, assemble and operate. 

The pier will go down as one of history’s costliest publicity stunts. The impetus for the pier was mounting political pressure on Biden — particularly from his own party — as Israel’s response to the Oct. 7 Hamas invasion killed tens of thousands, displaced more than a million, and caused a territory-wide food and medical-supply crisis. But critics also pointed out there are land routes which can be used to get aid into Gaza.

Biden’s pier announcement came a week after the Michigan primary, in which 13% of Democrats — more than 100,000 people — voted “uncommitted” as a means of condemning Biden’s performance on Gaza, among other issues. 

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ZeroHedge

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