Where is the US Army’s $320 million pier project?

According to reports today, satellite images show that the massive US project to build a pier and causeway to help increase humanitarian aid to Gaza has finally begun.

President Joe Biden first announced the plan during his State of the Union address on March 4.

The problem is that it was supposed to be ready ‘early May’, but the Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore or JLOTS system is still a long way from being in place. According to this Associated Press report, a US military unit is currently “training” to build the 550-meter-high dike, which would be anchored just off the Gaza beach, along with another Israeli military unit further along the coast. The article doesn’t say how American unity will get this done without boots on the ground, which was promised up and down and sideways by the Biden administration.

The US Navy ships are about 7 miles (11 kilometers) away in the waters between Gaza and Crete. They will first build a floating pier on which humanitarian aid will be brought from inspection centers in Crete. The aid is then transported by ship to the dike and then to a collection point on the beach. This is where it gets tricky. Supposedly the Israelis will provide security on the beach and the UN will take it to Gaza, but the project came under mortar fire on the beach last week and Hamas has pledged to “oppose” Israel or any other foreign armed forces deployed for surveillance. the area. In short, the entire game has become a head-scratching story.

Moreover, according to Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh, the whole thing will cost American taxpayers $320 million upfront (on top of the $26 billion approved last week). This is quite a swallow, as there are checkpoints and ports in Israel that could provide aid to the starving Palestinian population, but do not. Nevertheless, officials say they still expect it to be operational by “early May.”

None of this has escaped the attention of even the biggest pro-Israel hawks on Capitol Hill. “This dangerous effort with marginal benefits will now cost American taxpayers at least $320 million to operate the pier for just 90 days,” Senator Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi) said in an interview with Reuters, detailing the cost story.

“How much will taxpayers be on the hook once – or if – the pier is finally built?” Wicker asked further.

“For every day this mission continues, the price tag goes up, as does the level of risk for the 1,000 deployed troops within range of Hamas’s rockets.”

Interestingly, the pier is no longer considered a temporary solution. According to CNN this morning, “the ultimate goal is to make it a full-time commercial operation that can be used by other countries and non-governmental organizations.”

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