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Biden to remove $320 million Gaza pier due to sinking: President’s floating aid dock taken from beach for repairs after just two weeks

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The U.S. military recently constructed a floating pier meant to bring aid to desperate Palestinians in Gaza, but it sustained damage in rough seas just two weeks after it opened. As a result, the pier will have to be towed to Ashdod in Israel for repairs, which could take over a week. The Biden administration had announced the pier as a critical tool to provide relief to the war-torn population in Gaza, with an estimated cost of $320 million. However, rough seas caused four U.S. vessels to break free from the pier, with two of them washing up on shore in Gaza.

The Trident pier, anchored to the beach at Rafa, has been temporarily suspended for repairs. The top part of the pier disconnected in rough seas, and it must be detached from the coastline, moved to Ashdod for reassembly, and then reattached and re-anchored. Despite handling about 1,000 metric tons of aid before going offline, relief aid deliveries using the pier to Gaza have been halted. The setback comes as the Pentagon works to negotiate with Israeli officials about opening up more land routes for relief supplies, as Israel resists U.S. pressure to do so.

The Biden administration had high hopes for the floating pier as a temporary solution to reports of mass suffering and starvation in Gaza. With White House National Security Spokesman John Kirby marking the opening of the pier earlier in the month, about 1,000 service members were involved in the project. However, the Pentagon now blames rough seas for the mishap that led to the pier’s suspension. Israeli journalist Caroline Glick and The Jewish Press reported that the pier was “sinking” amid the rough seas, leading to the decision to tow it away for repairs.

Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh described the process of detaching, moving, reassembling, and reattaching the pier for repairs in Ashdod. She emphasized that it was necessary to remove the pier in order to work on it and fix the damage caused by rough seas. Despite the setback, the Biden administration remains committed to providing aid to the population in Gaza, even though Mother Nature can present challenges in the eastern Mediterranean, making it a rough place for such operations.

In conclusion, the $320 million pier constructed by the U.S. military for relief aid deliveries to Gaza has faced a setback due to damage sustained in rough seas. The pier will now be towed to Ashdod in Israel for repairs, halting relief aid deliveries temporarily. The Biden administration had touted the pier as a critical tool to provide aid to the war-torn population in Gaza, but challenges with rough seas led to the suspension of operations. Despite the setback, efforts are underway to ensure that the pier is repaired and reassembled to resume delivering aid as soon as possible.

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