June 20, 2024

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The American pier built off Gaza has collapsed

The American pier built off Gaza has collapsed

2024 Maxar Technologies

A Maxar Technologies satellite image taken Tuesday afternoon, right, shows a large portion of the floating dock missing. A satellite image taken on May 18, also from Maxar Technologies, shows, left, what the pier is supposed to look like.


the A temporary dock created by the US Army An aid transport operation to Gaza collapsed and was damaged in rough seas on Tuesday, the Pentagon said, in a major blow to US-led efforts to establish a sea corridor for humanitarian supplies to the war-torn enclave.

Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh said Tuesday that the pier “sustained damage and parts of it need to be reconstructed and repaired.” Singh said the pier will be removed from its location on the Gaza coast within the next 48 hours and transported to the Israeli port of Ashdod, where US Central Command will make repairs. Repairs will take more than a week, further delaying efforts to make the sea lane fully operational.

Earlier, four US officials told CNN that the pier collapsed due to strong waves.

Officials said part of the pier, which consists of a narrow bridge for transporting aid into Gaza and a wider parking area for unloading supplies transported by ship, was cut off on Sunday. The parking area must be reconnected to the bridge before the pier can be used again.

Harm, First reported by NBC NewsIt happened three days after heavy waves forced two small US Army ships ashore in Israel, according to US Central Command, while two other ships broke free from their moorings and anchored near the pier.

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“I think most of our soldiers were able to stay on the ships and are currently on them,” Singh said during a Pentagon press conference on Tuesday. “And… in the next 24 or 48 hours, the Israeli Navy will help push those ships back, and hopefully they will be fully operational by then.”

Maxar Technologies

A Maxar Technologies satellite image, taken Tuesday afternoon, shows that a large portion of the floating dock is missing.

The $320 million pier had only begun operating on May 17 when heavy waves forced sea shipments to stop one week later on May 24, two days before part of the pier was cut off. It is unclear when shipments will resume.

The temporary dock, called Joint Logistics Overshore (JLOTS), requires very good sea conditions for its operation. CNN previously reported that JLOTS can only be operated safely in waves of a maximum of 3 feet and winds of less than about 15 mph.

Severe sea conditions delayed the deployment of the dock for several weeks, with the system docked in the Israeli port of Ashdod awaiting favorable conditions.

The United States stressed that the temporary dock aims only to increase humanitarian shipments passing through the land crossings between Israel and Gaza.

Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, deputy commander of US Central Command, said on Thursday that 820 metric tons of aid had been delivered via the pier to the Gaza beach, where the United Nations was responsible for distributing it to the Palestinian population. The Pentagon said Thursday that more than 1,000 metric tons of aid had been delivered before the temporary dock had to cease operations.

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There are “thousands and thousands of tons” of aid waiting in Cyprus to be delivered via the sea lane, Daniel Dyckhaus, director of USAID’s Levant Response Management Team, told reporters on Thursday. But these shipments are now temporarily halted with the temporary dock not operational.

CNN’s Paul Murphy contributed reporting.

This story has been updated with additional details.

revision: This story has been updated to reflect the dismantling of the pier on Tuesday.