Stormy seas pause construction of Gaza pier, Pentagon says

The U.S. military had to pause its project of building a pier off the coast of Gaza to deliver humanitarian due to bad weather, the Pentagon said Friday.

U.S. Central Command officials “temporarily paused offshore assembly of the floating pier” off the coast of Gaza after high winds and sea swells caused unsafe conditions for soldiers working on the surface of the partially constructed causeway, the command said in a statement.

“The partially built pier and military vessels involved in its construction have moved to the Port of Ashdod,” in Israel, where assembly will continue.

As many as 1,000 American service members are helping set up the floating pier in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Gaza, a project that the Pentagon has initially estimated will cost $320 million.

Announced during President Biden’s State of the Union address in March, the structure will consist of an 1,800-foot-long causeway that will be attached to the shore and is meant to support the U.S. government and its partners in getting more humanitarian aid to civilians in the territory.

Officials had hoped to complete work on the pier by the end of this week but the unsafe seas will likely delay them by several days.

Once up and running, the pier is expected to initially support 90 daily truckloads of humanitarian aid into Gaza and ramp up to about 150 trucks a day.

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