An aid truck uses the roll-on, roll-off distribution facility to transport humanitarian aid onto a U.S. Army vessel on May 20, 2024.

An aid truck uses the roll-on, roll-off distribution facility to transport humanitarian aid onto a U.S. Army vessel on May 20, 2024. (Riley Anfinson/U.S. Army)

WASHINGTON — The temporary pier installed by the U.S. military two weeks ago off the coast of Gaza has been removed, and the recovery of two Army vessels that were moored to the floating dock continues, the Pentagon said Thursday.

“All sections of the Trident pier have been relocated to the port of Ashdod [in Israel] for rebuilding and repairing,” Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said. “Additionally, the two Army vessels that were beached over the weekend on the coast of Israel near Ashkelon have been recovered. The recovery of the remaining two Army vessels that were beached near the Trident pier is ongoing with the assistance from the Israeli navy.”

The pier was fully functional as late as Saturday when heavy seas unmoored four U.S. Army vessels that were being used to ferry pallets of aid from commercial vessels to the pier, which was anchored into the beach and provided a long causeway for trucks to drive that aid onto the shore.

The Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore, or JLOTS, pier is meant to provide another way to deliver needed aid into Gaza. The World Health Organization has warned some 2.3 million Gaza inhabitants could face extreme hunger that could become a full-blown famine as Israel continues its war against Hamas militants who launched a surprise assault in October from the enclave.

The JLOTS operation was first announced March 7. The next day, the Pentagon said the temporary pier would be operational within about 60 days.

The temporary pier was installed after being delayed due to weather conditions in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

The pier, which costs about $320 million and involves roughly 1,000 American forces, was operational for less than two weeks when the Pentagon announced Tuesday that it would be removed after suffering damages from rough seas and bad weather. Repairs to the pier will take more than a week.

Singh said Thursday that she was not tracking any modifications being made to the pier other than repairs.

“The one thing we couldn’t anticipate was that North African weather storm. I was speaking to people that were monitoring that storm and what we saw, it basically changed direction within an hour or two,” she said. “If you look back historically, we don’t see storms like that. We believe … during these summer months, seas are usually calmer and so we should be able to be successful in re-anchoring.”

The suspension of the pier comes after more than 1,000 metric tons of aid had been delivered.

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Matthew Adams covers the Defense Department at the Pentagon. His past reporting experience includes covering politics for The Dallas Morning News, Houston Chronicle and The News and Observer. He is based in Washington, D.C.

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