Gaza Strip: the American pier fiasco

Gaza Strip: the American pier fiasco
Gaza Strip: the American pier fiasco

Joe Biden promised last March the construction of a pier in Gaza to facilitate the delivery of aid.

Three months later, the military building was certainly built.

But its effectiveness leaves something to be desired, particularly because of the weather which damaged the structure.

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Israel and Hamas at war

Joe Biden’s promise falls apart. Last March, the American president proudly announced the establishment of a “emergency mission” to establish a temporary port on the coast of Gaza. This pier was to allow the delivery of the humanitarian aid long awaited by the population. Alas, three months later, the expensive building suffered one set of disappointments.

In total, 4,100 tonnes of aid have been delivered to the Gaza Strip so far. We are far from “l’augmentation massive” of deliveries promised by Joe Biden: between May 17 and 24 for example, during the first week of operation of the pier, 97 trucks of humanitarian aid disembarked. For comparison, around 500 entered the territory daily Palestinian before the start of the conflict.

A $230 million bridge

At the end of May, the situation became complicated: the swell caused the undocking of four American vessels participating in the operation. The pier was then damaged three days later by poor weather conditions and had to be transported to the Israeli port of Ashdod for repairs. Returned to operation on June 7, she was transported again to Ashdod on the 14th because of the swell. Aid deliveries finally resumed on Thursday June 20, the Pentagon announced.

In addition to the capricious weather, the American operation faces other difficulties. Notably the announcement on June 10 by the World Food Program of the suspension of its aid deliveries via the pier, “until an assessment of the safety conditions is carried out” for his staff. Asked then about the reasons for this interruption, the spokesperson for the UN Secretary General mentioned the Israeli operation two days earlier which had freed four hostages in Gaza, and which according to the Ministry of Hamas health has caused more than 270 deaths Ten days after this suspension, WFP deliveries have still not resumed.

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For Washington, the pill is difficult to swallow. Already because we are far from the initial objective: to provide some two million meals or two million bottles of water daily in 60 days (half of which will be devoted to transporting the equipment from the east coast of the United States). In addition, the American taxpayer had to put his hand in his pocket: the bridge cost around $230 million. According to the Washington think tank CSIS, the United States “wasted decision-makers’ time and energy, and more than $200 million of American taxpayer dollars.”


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