Pentagon Suspends Aid Efforts in Gaza After Gaza Pier Spills as Disrupting ‘High Seas’ Operations

The Pentagon will temporarily suspend aid deliveries to Gaza via an American-built, $320 million temporary pier that has been damaged by severe weather and seas in recent days.

“Due to sea conditions and the North African weather system, a portion of the Trident Pier separated earlier today from the pier that is currently anchored off the coast of Gaza,” Pentagon deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh told reporters on Tuesday. . “As a result, the Trident Pier was damaged and parts of it require reconstruction and repair.”

In less than two weeks of operation, the pier has faced setbacks, including three injured U.S. soldiers, including one who remains in critical condition. The Pentagon said it was working to recover several ships that had washed ashore near the pier.

Within the next 48 hours, the Trident Pier will be “removed from its anchored position on the coast and towed back to Ashdod where US Central Command will conduct repairs,” Ms. Singh added, noting that repairs will take more than a week and the pier will then need to be re-anchored on the coast Gases.

The Pentagon said the pier had proven “very valuable” in delivering aid and was therefore to be re-anchored so that aid to Gaza could be resumed.

“To date, over 1,000 metric tons have been delivered from the pier to the collection site for onward delivery by humanitarian organizations and into the hands of Palestinians,” Ms. Singh added, noting that the Pentagon hopes to provide aid to Gaza as quickly as it can.

When asked about the aid that had not yet been delivered by the quayside but was due to be delivered next week, Ms Singh replied that some of that aid was being “loaded onto ships” so that it would be able to pass once it crossed the pier and would be re-anchored, and part of the future of aid will be determined in discussions with USAID about how it will be delivered to Gaza. While the pier has proven “effective,” she said, land routes are the “most efficient way” to transport aid.

“You put a lot of money into it, but it didn’t last long, less than two weeks,” said one of the press conference participants, asking whether it could have been due to “poor planning and poor quality materials.”

“Over 1,000 tons of aid has reached the people of Gaza, so I don’t think it’s a total loss,” Ms. Singh replied, adding that it was important to get help “by any means.”

But last week, a Pentagon official said hundreds of tons of aid that were supposed to be delivered to Gazans through the pier never reached their intended recipients. A Pentagon spokesman said much of it was looted from food trucks leaving the camp or taken over by Hamas terrorists.

“If you want to call it a failure, I leave it to you. I can tell you we have no control over the weather,” she said, adding that an “unfortunate, unique pattern of events involving the high seas and another storm coming through” made it unusable.