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US military wants to open Gaza pier this week

A pier built by the US military to deliver aid to Gaza has been closed twice amid ongoing fighting between Israel and Hamas, but is expected to reopen.

Pentagon spokesman Air Force Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters the US aims to bring the missile back online as soon as this week, but did not give a specific date.

“Obviously, as I said, we look forward to reopening this facility very soon and getting aid out there,” he said Wednesday, “and, you know, we’re going to make the most of the situation, in terms of getting as much aid out of this pier as we can.”

Before and after: Photos show Biden’s destruction of $320 million Gaza dock

US troops set up the pier last month to deliver badly needed humanitarian aid to the exclave, which has been hit by fierce fighting for more than eight months in the war between Israel and Hamas. (U.S. Army via The Associated Press)

The United States has spent about $320 million to build a pier on the Mediterranean Sea to facilitate the delivery of aid to the Gaza Strip, but the pier has been damaged by bad weather and there have been chaotic scenes of hundreds of Palestinians looting aid convoys.

The pier has faced problems since it opened in late May, with heavy weather damaging the structure and forcing it to be closed after four boats that were used to stabilize the pier crashed in rough seas, forcing it to be closed.

Aid trucks passing through a pier in Gaza

On May 17, 2024, trucks loaded with humanitarian aid from the United Arab Emirates and the United States Agency for International Development passed through Trident Piers and arrived on Gaza’s shores. (Staff Sgt. Malcolm Cohens-Ashley/U.S. Army Central News Agency via The Associated Press)

The Biden administration announced plans for the pier in March as a way to provide vital aid to Palestinians at a time when basic goods are scarce in the Gaza Strip.

The pier collapse was the result of a massive Israeli attack Operation Rafah, For the first time since the war began, tanks entered the city center.

Pier in the Gaza Strip

An image provided by U.S. Central Command shows U.S. Army Soldiers with the 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary), U.S. Navy Sailors with the 1st Amphibious Construction Battalion and the Israel Defense Forces installing a Trident pier on a beach in the Gaza Strip, Thursday, May 16, 2024. The temporary pier is part of the Joint Coastal Logistics Function. (U.S. Central Command via The Associated Press)

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Ryder said he was not aware of any plans to demolish the pier.

“At this point we don’t have a specific timeline for when the pier will be shut down, but it’s important to note that this was planned from the beginning as a temporary pier,” he said. “At this point we’re not aware of any firm timeline for when the pier will be shut down.”