Construction of temporary pier off Gaza coast
Construction of temporary pier off Gaza coastReuters

The US military-built pier off the coast of Gaza will be up and running as early as this weekend barring weather delays, and aid is expected to begin flowing into the enclave soon afterward, a US official and a European official told Politico on Wednesday.

Officials are expected to make a decision on allowing the project to begin operations by Friday, meaning aid could begin flowing as soon as early next week, the US official said, adding that timeline could be delayed by environmental factors such as weather or logistical issues.

Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh said on Wednesday that the United States military has so far constructed over 50% of the maritime pier, but did not provide a timeline as to when it would begin operations.

"As of today, we are over 50% complete on setting up the pier," Singh told reporters, according to Reuters, adding the pier had several different components.

"The floating pier has been completely constructed and setup. The causeway is in progress," she said.

During testimony on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin acknowledged that it is possible” US troops working on the pier could get shot at. However, he stressed that the US will not put “boots on the ground in Gaza.”

Biden, in his State of the Union address in March, announced the plans for the temporary pier on the coast of Gaza that would receive large shipments carrying food, water, medicine and temporary shelter and provide aid to the Strip.

A day later, Biden said that Israel will provide security for the port he plans to build off the coast of Gaza that would provide aid to the Strip.