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US $230 million floating Gaza pier to be reattached one final time, then removed permanently next week

Israel promises US to deliver aid through the Israel's Ashdod port instead

The U.S. JLOTS (Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore) floating pier, 2024 (Photo: CENTCOM).

The U.S. JLOTS (Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore) floating pier will be reattached a final time in the coming days before its permanent removal next week, according to media reports citing U.S. officials.

Israel has, in turn, promised the U.S. to deliver the aid to Gaza through the Israeli port of Ashdod, a move that the the Israeli government rejected in the past.

The JLOTS floating pier and dock were intended to facilitate the transfer of humanitarian aid into Gaza via ships from Cyprus, but their function was hampered by rough seas, as well as by Hamas terrorists and Palestinian gangs stealing the aid once inside the Gaza Strip.

While the pier is currently in storage in Israel, during a press briefing on Tuesday, Pentagon Press Secretary Maj.-Gen. Pat Ryder the plan was to “tentatively” reattach the pier “this week,” and “enable the delivery of additional aid into Gaza.”

Over 19.4 million pounds of humanitarian aid have reportedly been delivered via the pier since it began operating in mid-May.

However, the halt in aid distribution by the United Nations inside the enclave due to security concerns has resulted in significant buildups of aid in Cyprus and in a secure area at the Gaza beach.

U.S. officials said the goal was now to clear the buildup of aid before dismantling the pier permanently.

Army Radio reported that Israel assured the U.S. that the overall amount of aid would not be reduced despite the pier not being in operation. Instead, the aid will continue to flow through the Ashdod port, from where it will be transported to Gaza overland.

Security officials said this will be a complex operation, requiring cooperation from the Tax Authority – subordinate to the Finance Ministry – and the Airports Authority, which is subordinate to the Transportation Ministry.

The original announcement of the pier operation came amid increasing criticism by the Biden administration against the perceived lack of effort to increase Gaza aid on the Israeli side.

“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 at the time.

The pier’s construction began in late April with the help of six army and navy ships and 1,000 U.S. soldiers, and ended up costing some $230 million after initially being estimated at $180 million.

Last month, the Pentagon and USAID inspectors general announced a coordinated investigation into the pier operation, after congressional Republicans complained the operation was a “waste of taxpayer dollars” that “defies all logic.”

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

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