US Service Member Critically Injured In Gaza Pier Op To Bypass Israeli Blockade

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, May 24, 2024 - 05:20 PM

A cost of US government support of Israel's war in Gaza gained a grim new dimension Thursday, as three American service members suffered "non-combat injuries" in the humanitarian relief operation off the Gaza coast, with one in critical condition. The military branch of the injured had not yet been disclosed as this story was written. 

While the circumstances are still unclear, the most seriously-injured service member was working on the offshore platform that trucks use to travel between aid-laden ships and the Gaza beach, reports USNI News. The MV Roy P. Benavidez, a "roll-on, roll-off" cargo ship, was attached to the platform when the incident happened.  The pier-construction project has been a joint Army-Navy undertaking, with the pier construction being handled by the Army's 7th Transportation Brigade, which is based at Fort Eustis, VA. 

The MV Roy P Benavidez carried components for the Gaza humanitarian relief pier from Newport News, VA (Navy file photo)

The critically injured American was airlifted to an Israeli hospital. Those who are well-practiced in using circular logic to justify the close US-Israel relationship will no doubt express gratitude that the United States could tap its ally Israel for medical assistance -- after an American was critically injured because the United States has Israel for an ally. 

“Three injuries, two were very minor injuries and those individuals returned to duty. One individual is undergoing care at a local Israeli hospital,” US Navy Vice Admiral Brad Cooper told reporters. These are the first US "casualties" of any degree in the pier operation so far, which has involved some 1,000 service members. There's no indication that actions by outside forces led to the injuries. 

Components of the the mobile causeway on the deck of the Benavidez in mid-March (USNI News)

The US government has given Israel billions of dollars that it's used to devastate Gaza and impose a blockade that's caused a major humanitarian crisis. Now, to mitigate that devastation, the US government has spent $320 million to build a pier to bypass its own beneficiary's land-route blockade. 

At best, the pier will only put a dent in the daunting humanitarian challenge. “I just want to be clear that this humanitarian maritime corridor alone is not enough to meet the staggering needs in Gaza, but it is an important addition," said USAID Levant response management team director Daniel Dieckhaus. "It is meant to augment, not replace or substitute for land crossings into Gaza." 

International humanitarian organizations are alarmed by rising malnutrition rates in Gaza (via World Food Programme)

The pier operation got off to a rough start -- and was paused for two days -- after desperate Palestinians mobbed and ransacked the first trucks before they could reach a distribution warehouse managed by the World Food Programme.