Photo Credit: Joseph Clark/U.S. Department of Defense.
U.S. soldiers with the 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary) ready the USAV SP4 James A. Loux to deploy from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va. on March 12, 2024. The unit is deploying as part of a Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore mission to conduct 1,800-foot causeway off the coast of Gaza to enable the flow of critical aid from the sea to civilians affected by the ongoing conflict.

Israel Defense Forces troops secured U.N. officials who came under mortar fire on Wednesday when touring a pier being constructed by U.S. military personnel off the coast of Gaza to increase the amount of aid flowing into the Gaza enclave.

The IDF soldiers rushed the officials to shelter after Gazan terrorists launched projectiles at the installation.


“The terrorist organizations continue to systematically harm humanitarian efforts while risking the lives of U.N. workers, even as Israel allows the supply of aid to the residents of the Gaza Strip,” according to the IDF.

The Israeli military previously confirmed that troops would provide “security and logistical support” for the project, “further demonstrating the IDF’s commitment to working with the international community to ensure the continuous entry of humanitarian aid to the civilian population in the Gaza Strip.”

Last month, Politico reported that Israel had committed to providing a “security bubble” for the temporary pier meant to protect the American personnel. The IDF will also be responsible for physically connecting the pier to the Strip’s shore.

A Pentagon spokesman confirmed on Thursday that the U.S. military had started constructing the pier to boost aid deliveries. The project reportedly involves 1,000 American soldiers, who will not have boots on the ground in Gaza.

The U.S. Army has hired a subcontractor, Fogbow, to manage the distribution of aid in Gaza, although the exact mechanism has not yet been made public.

The U.S. hopes to begin delivering aid using the new pier by early May. A senior American official, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity on Thursday, said the sea route will initially total 90 trucks daily which could quickly rise to about 150.

The official suggested the mortar attack was not connected to the humanitarian mission, adding that security for the pier will be “far more robust” when the aid begins flowing.

In his March 7 State of the Union address, U.S. President Joe Biden announced the establishment of a floating pier to deliver supplies.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant welcomed the initiative, saying that it would help collapse Hamas.

“We will ensure that the aid reaches those to whom it should get to and that it does not reach those to whom it should not get to,” he added.

Gallant pointed out that the sea-based aid corridor is “designed to bring direct assistance to the residents and thus continue to undermine Hamas rule in Gaza. We will bring the aid through a maritime route that is coordinated with the U.S. on the security and humanitarian side, with the help of the Emirates on the civilian side and appropriate checks in Cyprus. The goods will be brought by international organizations with American assistance.”

Most Israelis are opposed to the aid coming in to Gaza, as it extends the war, assists Hamas, and prevents the return of Israeli hostages.

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