Progress Despite Setbacks

The U.S. Central Command has confirmed that despite initial setbacks due to adverse weather conditions, the construction of a temporary humanitarian aid pier in Gaza will proceed. The project, which had to be moved from its original site due to high sea swells and strong winds, is now assembled at the Israeli Port of Ashdod, approximately 18 miles northeast of Gaza.

Work on the pier was temporarily halted last Thursday when the area near Gaza experienced unfavorable marine conditions. However, a CENTCOM press release indicated that “assembly will resume and be finalized in Ashdod before the pier is positioned at its designated spot once the weather conditions stabilize.”

More Than Halfway Complete

The temporary pier is part of the Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore (JLOTS) system and involves constructing a floating pier and a 1,800-foot-long causeway linking it to the shore. Support vessels and barges will also be deployed to transfer aid from the pier to the causeway. In a recent briefing, Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh stated that construction of the JLOTS was more than half complete as of Wednesday.

“The floating pier is fully assembled and ready; we are now focusing on the causeway,” she explained.

The Pentagon first announced the initiative to build the pier on March 8, following President Joe Biden’s directive during his State of the Union address. Shortly after, equipment for the JLOTS and Army personnel from the 7th Transportation Brigade embarked from Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia to the Central Command’s operational area.

Initially, the pier is expected to deliver approximately 90 truckloads of humanitarian aid daily into Gaza. As operations scale up, this is anticipated to increase to around 150 truckloads per day, equating to nearly 2 million meals daily.