Pentagon suspends construction of Biden's $320 million boondoggle in Gaza due to rough seas

The damage, which was attributed to nature, has paused construction on the $320 million pier, hindering the Biden administration's efforts to deliver humanitarian aid to the region.

Pentagon suspends construction of Biden's $320 million boondoggle in Gaza due to rough seas
AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov
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Rough seas have shut down the construction of President Joe Biden's $320 million pier off the coast of Gaza.

The U.S.-built temporary pier, known as the Joint Logistics Over The Shore (JLOTS), which was intended to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza, has temporarily suspended operations due to damage caused by nature, according to three U.S. officials who spoke to the Associated Press, per Politico

The JLOTS pier, which began operations just two weeks ago, provided an additional route for delivering critically needed food to Gaza. However, the setback is the latest in a series of challenges for the $320 million pier, which has already seen three U.S. service members injured and four of its vessels beached due to heavy seas.

Last week, deliveries were halted for two days after crowds rushed aid trucks coming from the pier, resulting in the death of one Palestinian man.

The construction of the platform has very quickly become a boondoggle for the Biden administration, humiliating the sitting president in his attempts to appeal to anti-Israel protesters. 

Despite the challenges, the pier had begun to gain momentum, with more than 820 metric tons of food aid delivered from the sea onto the Gaza beach via the pier as of Friday. However, U.S. officials have repeatedly emphasized that the pier alone cannot provide the amount of aid required to feed Gaza's starving population, stressing the need for open land crossings to support the remaining 1.8 million people.

The Israeli offensive in the southern city of Rafah has made it impossible for aid shipments to get through the crossing there, which is a key source for fuel and food coming into Gaza. While Israel claims to be bringing aid in through another border crossing, Kerem Shalom, humanitarian organizations report that Israeli military operations make it difficult for them to retrieve and distribute the aid.

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