Biden’s Gaza Pier Site Comes Under Attack As US Troops Prepare To Begin Construction

(Photo by ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP via Getty Images)

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Micaela Burrow Investigative Reporter, Defense
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Engineering sites where U.S. military personnel will soon begin constructing a humanitarian pier reportedly came under attack, the Israeli military and United Nations (U.N.) officials said Thursday, according to media reports.

“Various terrorist organizations” lobbed mortar rounds at efforts on the location laying the groundwork for the pier while U.N. officials were touring the area, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing the Israeli military. The U.N. officials retreated to secure spaces and no one was injured in the attack, but the incident underscored concerns about security for the roughly 1,000 U.S. troops involved in facilitating delivery of much-needed humanitarian supplies to Gaza.

“The incident in no way delays our efforts to establish the maritime corridor,” Pentagon press secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said Thursday, appearing to confirm the attack.

No U.S. troops were close to the area, he clarified. Construction efforts for the temporary pier and causeway have begun, he said, but those efforts were outside of mortar range.

“We’re aware of reports that a small number of mortars landed in the vicinity of the marshalling yard for humanitarian assistance that will eventually be the delivery site,” he said, but did not damage U.S. equipment. (RELATED: Top Hamas Official Lays Out One Condition To Disarm, End War Against Israel)

No organization immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, The Associated Press reported Thursday, citing U.N. officials as well as the Israeli military.

“We understand there is risk and we do everything we can to mitigate the risk by putting in capability [and] working with the Israelis,” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown said Thursday, according to the WSJ.

U.S. troops should finish building the pier and accompanying floating causeway in 10 to 14 days, but defense officials said it could take longer if new challenges arise while the military endeavors to assemble the structure without setting foot on Gaza itself, the WSJ reported.

The Israeli military has taken responsibility for securing the beaches around the landing, according to the WSJ.

Cargo ships departing from Cyprus will ship humanitarian aid to the floating pier, where they will be unloaded and the aid transferred to smaller vessels that can ferry the aid to the causeway, the WSJ reported. Non-military vehicles will transport the cargo the rest of the way down the causeway to the shore.

Hamas threatened to oppose any foreign power involved in building the pier, a militant official told the AP.

The pier should be operating by the end of April or early May, Ryder said at a press briefing Tuesday.

U.S. Central Command and the National Security Council did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include remarks from Pentagon press secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder, that appeared to confirm the attack.

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