The Sinking Gaza Pier

An overview of the temporary floating pier, and the problems getting the aid into the Gaza Strip.
Gaza Floating temporary pier for aid

As the war continues to wage on in the Gaza Strip, focus has been put on the $320 million temporary floating pier the Pentagon named Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore (JLOTS) that President Joe Biden announced would be providing humanitarian aid to the Gazans during his State of the Union speech on March 7,2024. Has broken apart and is sinking while they race to repair it.

President Joe Biden Via Wikimediacommons

The project was initially planned to bring in aid to the Gaza Strip and is not a replacement for the land routes that are at times being blocked or delayed due to difficulty from ground offensives by Israeli and Hamas forces, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Pier was not a total solution but has been marred with problems from the very beginning, with security, logistical, and weather issues that have made the project unable to meet expectations set by Pentagon officials. The pier was meant to bring in 150 trucks a day into the region, but has never met that number, before the war seven months ago the region had 500 trucks a day going into the Gaza Strip being able to feed thousands a day still a far cry away from being able to supply the 2.3 million populating the area.

Pentagon Spokesperson Major General Patrick Ryder mentioned that 569 metric tons of humanitarian aid has made its way to Gaza beaches, with a key point that just because aid made its way into Gaza, doesn’t mean that it made it to the intended recipients. Reporters asked Major General Ryder if any aid had made it to the Gazans in need Ryder replied, “I do not think so.”

Looting has been rampant and another hurdle that the aid groups have been struggling with and reporting, on at least one occasion eleven trucks were intercepted by frenzied Gazans with only five making it to the World Food Program (WFP), which has also had the humanitarian operation halted temporarily as well. “Crowds had stopped the trucks at various points along the way. There was what I think I would refer to as self-distribution” U.N. Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said to reporters, according to the National Review.

Photo by Michael Muthee on Unsplash

“Nobody said at the outset that it was going to be a panacea for all the humanitarian assistance problems that still exist in Gaza. I think sometimes there’s an expectation of the U.S. military- because they are so good-that everything they touch is just going to turn to gold in an instant” said National Security Spokesperson John Kirby said in a press conference while adding “We knew going in that this was going to be tough stuff, and it has proven to be tough stuff.”

National Security Spokesperson John Kirby

Critics are blasting the Biden-Harris Administration calling the Gaza pier a “purely political gesture”, Christian Whiton on Fox News said, while Bob Kitchen Top Official at the World Rescue Commitee says it’s a “sideshow” and National Review called it a desperate measure to stifle the “Genocide Joe” chants. This pier was announced during the State of The Union speech as the calls for a cease-fire and more to be done by the Biden-Harris to help the people in the Gaza Strip.

Others are criticizing the Biden-Harris administration for the huge price tag of the T-shaped temporary pier which is essentially a series of floating segments held in place with anchors, that was only half operational, injured three American service members one critically, and disregarding a 2006 Naval War College paper on the type of pier used in the Gaza Strip explaining how it was not designed to operate where there are waves exceeding three feet, or winds above 15 miles per hour. Those conditions are not uncommon off the coast of Gaza.

Actions being taken now have various pieces of the pier have been moved north to Israel’s side of the coast for repairs which are expected to take at least another week. “When we are able to re-anchor the pier back in, you’ll be able to see that aid flow off in a pretty steady stream” Sabrina Singh the Deputy press secretary for the Pentagon also noted, “We’re going to continue to operate this temporary pier for as long as we can.” reported also by the Los Angeles Times.

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Andrew Vojta
Andrew Vojta, Staff Writer
Hello, My name is Andrew I'm a second-semester student at the Butte Community College. This is my First Semester with the Roadrunner Newspaper Production team. I'm excited to work with a wide variety of people with a diverse background that really brings the paper to life for me. It's an awesome time to be on the production team as they are working on the 55th anniversary Magazine. I like to write about Crime, Homelessness, Music, and other things that are affecting and happening within the community at large. I appreciate everyone and thank you for taking time out of your day to come and read The Roadrunner. As a student learning the craft of Journalism, we can't get away from the use of Artificial Intelligence even with most phones and computers even come with them installed so I use Grammarly and other than that I just use it to experiment with but not for the use to write the story.
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