Senator Wicker Statement on Return of Pier Components to Gaza

June 7, 2024

WASHINGTON – After breaking apart and scattering across the Mediterranean coast last week, components of the Gaza pier have been gathered, repaired, and sent back out from the port of Ashdod in Israel to the Gaza coast. U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., the highest-ranking Republican on the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement:

“It is astonishing that President Biden is doubling down on this bad idea. It continues to put U.S. troops in harm’s way without any plan for ensuring that aid is delivered successfully to Gazans in need,” Senator Wicker said. “This irresponsible and expensive experiment defies all logic except the obvious political explanation: to appease the President’s far-left flank. This needs to end immediately.”

Senator Wicker also offered the following key facts related to the Gaza pier:

  • On June 3, Politico reported that two of the four Army watercraft tasked with assisting in construction of the Gaza pier have not yet been recovered after the vessels “took on a lot of water and sand.”
  • On May 28, the Department of Defense noted that a number of U.S. troops had been stuck on beached Army watercraft amid difficult sea states and had to be evacuated.
  • On May 23, U.S. officials noted that three U.S. troops suffered non-combat injuries in the process of constructing the pier. One of those injured service members was critically injured.
  • On May 22, the Department of Defense confirmed that none of the aid unloaded from the pier had securely reached the broader Palestinian population because of regular interceptions of aid on its land-based delivery routes.
  • On April 29, Reuters reported that the cost of the Gaza pier had ballooned to nearly double its initial cost estimate to $320 million.
  • On April 25, the original lodgment for the Gaza pier was attacked by mortar fire from unspecified terrorists in the area while U.N. officials visited the location.
  • On April 17, one of the Navy logistics ships responsible for transporting equipment and personnel for the pier, the USNS John Bobo, was forced to return to port after an engine fire ended its mission to Gaza.