US military begins building aid pier off the coast of Gaza

Photo: 26518180 | Gaza Ship © Ahmedfraije |

The U.S. military personnel have begun construction of a temporary pier off the coast of Gaza to deliver critical humanitarian assistance, senior defense and Biden administration officials said last week.

The construction of the pier, which is expected to be completed in early May, will initially facilitate the delivery of an estimated 90 truckloads of international aid into Gaza and scale to up to 150 truckloads once fully operational.

The U.S. has coordinated with the Israeli Defense Force to provide force protection for U.S. personnel operating at sea. The U.S. has also coordinated with an IDF engineering unit to receive the pier on the shore in Gaza once the construction at sea is complete.

“The effort to deliver humanitarian assistance from the sea is fully supported by the Israeli Defense Force with whom we have been and will continue to work very closely [with] — from fixing the Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore (JLOTS) pier to the shore to providing force protection,” a senior defense official said. “This effort is fully integrated with the IDF.”

The official added that the U.S. is also bringing “significant force protection as a prudent measure” and will continue to closely monitor the security environment to ensure the safety of U.S. forces. 

Delivering the capability involves the complex choreography of logistics support and landing craft vessels that carry the equipment used to construct an approximately 1,800-foot causeway comprised of modular sections linked together, which is known as a Trident Pier.

The units are also constructing a 72-foot wide by 270-foot long roll-on, roll-off discharge facility, which will remain about three miles off Gaza’s shore and enable cargo ships to offload aid shipments at sea prior to being transported to shore.

About 1,000 soldiers and sailors are involved in the operation. 

The U.S. Department of Defence is working closely with the U.S. Agency for International Development, which has begun coordinating international assistance. Aid providers have begun staging cargo in Cyprus for delivery via the maritime corridor once the pier is in place. 

“Work on the maritime corridor is progressing along the expected timeline,” a senior administration official said. “This is a complex operation which requires close coordination with many partners, and we’re grateful for the work of our partners in this effort.”

Meanwhile aid shipments to Gaza resumed, an official from World Central Kitchen (WCK) said on April 28, after a pause following the loss of lives of seven aid workers in Gaza on April 1.

“We will continue to get as much food into Gaza, including northern Gaza, as possible by land, air, or sea. We have 276 trucks, with the equivalent of almost 8 million meals, ready to enter through the Rafah Crossing. We’ll also send trucks from Jordan,” the CEO of WCK Erin Gore said in a statement on Sunday.

Now the humanitarian organisation World Central Kitchen (WCK) is exploring the maritime corridor and utilizing the Ashdod port.