US Army Starts Work on Building Gaza Pier for Facilitating Aid Delivery

Gaza militants launched a mortar attack on the Israeli forces preparing for the American-led effort to construct a temporary port on the northern coast of the Gaza Strip to receive humanitarian aid just one day before US military personnel were expected to begin construction on the floating pier.

According to officials, no US military equipment was affected in the mortar attacks which caused only “minimal damage” near the marshaling yard. The attack would not delay the construction of the floating pier which was set to begin on April 25, US officials said.

The Israel Defense Forces confirmed that the mortar attacks, which were launched by various Palestinian terror groups, struck the “engineering work area” in northern Gaza where work to expand humanitarian aid was being carried out “in cooperation with international partners.”

At a Pentagon press briefing last Thursday, press secretary Maj. Gen. Patrick Ryder said US Navy vessels in the Mediterranean were already doing initial construction on the material required to erect the floating pier and causeway on the coast of Gaza.

A senior Pentagon official later confirmed the project was “on track” to start delivering humanitarian aid via the Mediterranean in early May.

The Pentagon expects the pier to receive approximately 90 trucks worth of aid each day at the start which would later get scaled up to 150 trucks once the project is fully operational, the senior official said.

The official reiterated that no US forces would be on the ground in Gaza. Instead, IDF will partner with the US military from “day one.” A unit with the US Army Corps of Engineers has been training its IDF counterparts on how to anchor the causeway to the pier. The IDF also agreed to provide perimeter security “over a fairly wide area” while the US military will remain on the Mediterranean several hundred yards from the Gaza shore.

The Pentagon is prepared for the project to continue “for several months,” the official said.