Senator Wicker Statement on Reported Gaza Pier Attack

April 23, 2024

WASHINGTON – Preliminary reports are suggesting that American and U.N. assets being used to construct an emergency pier in Gaza were targeted with mortar fire. U.S. Senator Roger F. Wicker, R-Miss., the highest-ranking Republican on the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement in response:

“This attack was unfortunate but predictable. This has been an ill-conceived mission from the start. Every day when these ships have been in transit was another day terrorists in Gaza have been preparing to thwart their arrival. In any case, the risk to Americans will only intensify. President Biden should never have put our men and women in this position, and he should abandon this project immediately before any U.S. troops are injured,” Senator Wicker said.

Senator Wicker continued, “The appropriate way to address Gaza’s humanitarian crisis has been clear since Hamas’ horrific October 7 terrorist massacre: Hamas must surrender and return all hostages to their families. Instead, Hamas’ leadership continues to hide underground and prolong a war that is costing its people dearly.”

Notably, not even the full complement of U.S. ships even made it to the region – the Pentagon now says one of our logistics vessels that caught fire in transit will be out of commission indefinitely.

President Biden announced the plan during his State of the Union address on March 7.

On March 21, Senator Wicker led a letter with 11 other Senate Armed Services Republicans demanding answers about the Gaza pier from the Biden administration, particularly as they relate to plans for U.S. force protection.

In a March 28 Washington Examiner, op-ed Senator Wicker noted the following:

We also do not know how U.S. soldiers will be protected throughout this deployment. In the region, our forces are already subjected to a steady barrage of missile and drone attacks from Iran’s proxies. It is unreasonable to assume this mission would be exempt from similar attacks…[we are] relegat[ing] our soldiers to the sea, on a static target, while chaos could fester on land at the end of the pier. What will keep Hamas or other agitators from camping out on the shore?”


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