National Security

‘Rougher And Rougher’: Biden’s Chaotic Gaza Pier Could Be Dismantled Months Earlier Than Expected

(Photo by U.S. Central Command via Getty Images)

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Jake Smith Contributor
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The Biden administration’s Gaza aid pier could be dismantled months earlier than expected amid a series of growing problems, according to The New York Times.

The Biden administration initially hoped that the pier, meant to serve as a causeway for aid delivery to Gaza via a maritime corridor, would survive elemental conditions until at least September, before the seasonal sea conditions become too turbulent, the NYT reported. But a string of logistical and weather problems have plagued the pier since it was built in mid-May, and now U.S. defense officials are warning aid groups that it may be shuttered permanently by as soon as next month. (RELATED: Biden Cuts Off His Own Supporters So Anti-Israel Protesters Can Shout Over Him)

If closed by that point, the pier will have likely experienced little success in its goal of getting aid to the Palestinians; it has only been operational for roughly 10 days in the month since it was constructed, according to the NYT.

“Supplies from the pier aren’t flowing to Palestinians, and never really have,” Stephen Semler, a national security expert at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, wrote in an essay last week. “The reality is that the [pier] is not working, at least not for Palestinians.”

The Mediterranean’s choppy sea conditions and high winds have rattled the pier, routinely grinding operations to a halt. In one case, a stint of bad weather in late May broke the pier apart completely and sent it floating away, forcing officials to tow it northbound toward Israel for repairs. The pier was re-anchored to the shores of Gaza on June 7, but the United Nations’ World Food Program stopped delivering from the pier two days later, citing security concerns.

Less than a week later, the pier was detached from the shores again and brought back northward to avoid another round of bad weather.

“They did have weather-related issues. They had to dismantle it for the safety of everybody involved.  But I honestly don’t know what the new status is,” White House National Security spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Monday.

(Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 17: John Kirby, National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications, joined by White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, speaks at a press briefing at the White House on June 17, 2024 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Even with a $230 million price tag, the pier was hastily built — President Joe Biden only told the Pentagon his plans days before he announced it in March — and never meant to withstand the conditions of the Mediterranean. The pier can only be operated during “sea state three” levels, meaning shorter and moderate waves. The Mediterranean is routinely at a “sea state level four” with higher waves typically between three and five feet.

Aid officials say the pier has failed in its goal of delivering between 150 truckloads of aid per day to the Palestinians, instead only hitting the equivalent of about seven truckloads per day, according to the NYT.

“The volume is negligible,” J. Stephen Morrison, director of the Global Health Policy Center at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told the NYT. “And the seas are just going to get rougher and rougher.”

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