Skip to main content

US military halts Gaza humanitarian aid pier, citing weather

A US defense official told Al-Monitor the pier remains on schedule, but an agreement to have workers with the UN World Food Programme distribute aid from the pier remains under intensive negotiation amid significant security concerns.
Humanitarian aid is dropped on the Gaza Strip, west of Gaza City, on March 25, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict in the Palestinian territory between Israel and the militant group Hamas, with the background showing Israel's Rutenberg power station near Ashkelon.

WASHINGTON — The US military halted its construction of a temporary humanitarian aid pier off the coast of Gaza on Thursday, citing inclement weather, in the latest setback for the Biden administration’s plan to alleviate famine in the Palestinian enclave.

US Army vessels off Gaza’s coast had nearly completed the two-part dock system, consisting of a floating pier and a causeway, with plans to anchor the causeway into the shore by next week.

But construction was halted, and the military withdrew the pier components northward to the Israeli port of Ashdod on Thursday. US Central Command (CENTCOM) blamed heavy seas for the decision.

“Forecasted high winds and high sea swells caused unsafe conditions for soldiers working on the surface of the partially constructed pier,” CENTCOM said in a statement released Friday.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.