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US floating Gaza pier to cost $180 million, scheduled to launch next month

US Army soldiers prepare mobile causeway sections to be loaded aboard MV Roy A. Benavidez on March 15, 2024. (Photo: USNI News)

A brand new port in Gaza, a temporary floating pier off the coast of the Gaza Strip, will cost the United States at least $180 million, according to an ABC News report on Tuesday. 

During his State of the Union address last month, President Joe Biden announced that the U.S. would be constructing the pier to facilitate the delivery of additional humanitarian aid to Gaza from the Mediterranean Sea.

“We’re not waiting on the Israelis. This is a moment for American leadership, and we are building a coalition of countries to address this urgent need,” a senior U.S. official told reporters last month.

The cost of the pier has not been officially released by U.S. Central Command (US CENTCOM) but the $180 million figure comes from two sources involved in the discussions.

According to ABC News, the cost will only be clear, once the final details are confirmed, such as which humanitarian NGOs and governments will help transport the aid to the Gaza shore and distribute it to residents inside the Strip.

The construction of the pier will engage around 1,000 U.S. military troops and entail the deployment of six Army and Navy ships. The pier itself, scheduled to be completed by early May, is expected to deliver about two million meals a day to Gazans.

The protection of U.S. military personnel against possible attacks by Hamas operatives remains an open question. Discussions are ongoing among officials to determine the most effective measures to ensure their safety.

The floating pier will be stationed approximately three miles from the Gazan coast and will reportedly almost be the size of a football field, roughly 97 ft. wide and 270 ft. long, according to ABC News.

The container ships with the aid will reportedly have the contents of the cargo screened in Cyprus before being shipped to the Gaza pier.

According to the report, U.S. military troops will not be allowed on the ground in Gaza but will remain posted off-shore. It remains unclear who will be responsible for transporting the cargo from the pier to the Gaza shore and subsequently distributing it.

“No U.S. boots will be on the ground,” Biden said during his televised speech last month.

Officials have said that the U.S. is working with “regional partners” on a solution to solve the issue of transport and distribution in Gaza.

U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Sabrina Singh said the military, State Department and USAID are working “around the clock” to find partners and get the system set up.

“Still no boots on the ground. That is the policy that has been set by the president. We will not have boots on the ground when it comes to setting up this pier,” she said.

Biden, along with the United Nations and other parties, has claimed that the pier is necessary to prevent a famine in Gaza, but the IDF last month slammed a report by Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) that alleged widespread famine in the Strip.

“Only 77% of the humanitarian aid that entered Gaza since the start of 2024 was distributed within Gaza. Where is that aid? Is it piling up in aid agencies' warehouses? Did Hamas hijack the aid from the UN? Distribution is what matters,” the IDF’s unit coordinator of activities in the Gaza Strip, COGAT, wrote.

Significant portions of the information in the report were provided by local bodies like the Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry, “which has a strategic interest in presenting fundamentally misleading information,” COGAT said.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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