Biden’s $230M Gaza Aid Pier Teeters on Brink After Barely Working


President Joe Biden’s grand plan to deliver aid to Palestinians has predictably turned into a debacle, with the operation now teetering on the brink of being scrapped much sooner than anyone expected.

In his State of the Union address in March, Biden boldly proclaimed that the U.S. military would build a floating pier system in the Mediterranean Sea to send aid to Gaza, promising it would vastly increase humanitarian assistance to Palestinians. However, this pier has been plagued by issues since becoming operational in May, endangering U.S. troops and turning aid efforts into a bureaucratic quagmire.

According to officials and aid workers who spoke to The Wall Street Journal, the pier was laughably underprepared for the rough Mediterranean waters, making failure inevitable. According to The New York Time, U.S. officials are now quietly informing aid organizations in Gaza that they may pull the plug on this fiasco within weeks—well before the initial target of September.

Justin Logan of the Cato Institute summed it up aptly: “With [the Biden administration], the game is that they can’t shoot straight. They continue to have a ‘ready, fire and then aim’ approach to this kind of stuff.”

Indeed, Biden only informed the Pentagon of his pier plan days before announcing it to the public, sending defense officials into a frenzy. The military rushed to build the system—a floating pier off Gaza’s coast and a causeway pier anchored to shore—in late April, and it limped into operation in mid-May.

The pier, costing $230 million, can only handle moderate waves up to “sea state three.” But the Mediterranean frequently has higher waves, exceeding this limit. Predictably, bad weather in late May broke the pier apart within two weeks of its debut. The military towed it north for repairs, but when operations resumed on June 8, the World Food Program, citing security concerns, refused to use it after aid trucks were raided on May 20.

David Daoud of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies pointed out the glaring oversight: “There was no mechanism of how this aid would get from the pier to its intended recipients.” By June 15, rough seas forced the pier to close again, reopening briefly on June 20. In its first month, the pier was operational for a grand total of ten days.

Defense officials warn aid organizations that the pier could be shut down for good any day now despite the initial September deadline. A Pentagon official tried to save face, claiming the pier was always meant to be temporary, though no closure date has been set.

Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin admitted in April the obvious risk of Hamas attacking U.S. troops working on the pier, just two miles off Gaza’s coast. Terrorist groups did indeed fire mortars at the site on April 24.

Michael DiMino of Defense Priorities pointed out that the plan was doomed from the start, citing accidents, logistical nightmares, and troop risks. Even if the pier worked perfectly, it would only deliver a fraction of the needed aid. The Pentagon’s goal of 90 to 150 truckloads daily is laughable when aid groups report only about seven truckloads actually make it through.

Stephen Semler of the Quincy Institute noted that aid from the pier has barely trickled to Palestinians. After the pier’s establishment, total aid deliveries into Gaza dropped significantly. In May, less than 2,000 of the 29,000 pallets of aid came from the pier, compared to 93,000 pallets in April.

Daoud summed it perfectly: “My knee-jerk feeling when I heard this thing announced was that it was going to end badly.” Indeed, it’s a masterclass in how not to conduct humanitarian aid.