Home Markets Exclusive — Sources Say Joe Biden’s Gaza Pier Is Endangering Troops’ Lives for a ‘Photo-Op’

Exclusive — Sources Say Joe Biden’s Gaza Pier Is Endangering Troops’ Lives for a ‘Photo-Op’

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The Biden administration has publicly praised American troops who are part of the risky mission to deliver aid to Gaza via a temporary pier, but behind the scenes, sources tell Breitbart News that the troops’ safety is being endangered for a “photo-op.”

There are approximately 1,000 troops who are part of the novel operation to attach a floating pier to the coast of Gaza. The pier went operational on May 17, but eight days later on May 25, it broke apart due to heavy seas and had to be dismantled from the coast and repaired. It was reattached just last week.

U.S. Source Involved in the Mission

Photo credit: U.S. source involved in the mission

Despite this, the Biden administration has insisted the pier operation has been a success.

“The operation was going successfully,” Deputy Defense Secretary Sabrina Singh said on May 30.

Houthi Iran - Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh speaks during a media briefing at the Pentagon, Thursday, May 4, 2023, in Washington. (Alex Brandon/AP)

Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh speaks during a media briefing at the Pentagon on May 4, 2023, in Washington. (Alex Brandon/AP)

But sources say behind the scenes, troops’ lives are being put at risk, sometimes for literal photo-ops.

One U.S. source involved in the mission said the pier has been targeted daily. “[There] absolutely has been gunfire and mortars. It’s all day and night nonstop,” the source said.

PHOTO: Smoke fills the air after a mortar was fired near the coast of the Gaza where the pier is attached. (U.S. Source Involved in the Mission)

Smoke fills the air after a mortar was fired near the coast of the Gaza where the pier is attached. (Photo credit: U.S. source involved in the mission)

Indeed, due to the risk of sniper-fire, troops are ordered to wear tactical vests as far as five nautical miles out from the coast, and aid has to be rushed off the boats onto the temporary pier due to the “constant” attempts to attack the pier, according to the source.

Yet, minutes before the first boat filled with aid hit the pier, troops were ordered to roll up plastic covers on the trucks so that the aid could be photographed, the source said.

Troops were also ordered to wash the aid trucks and sweep flour off of them so that they look good in photos. The source said this happened twice — once for the first delivery of the operation, and again recently after the pier was reattached.

The Biden administration has also boasted about the amount of aid moved over the pier — a little more than 2,000 metric tons to date, or approximately 4.6 million pounds. But sources say moving that amount of aid has taken a toll on troops.

Two U.S. sources said commanders are ordering troops to work 12 to 48-hour shifts with very little sleep so that they can move more pallets, which has led to “many accidents,” including one service member being “crushed” by a forklift.

The first U.S. source said it was lack of sleep that led to the service member being run and crushed over by an unlicensed forklift driver during night operations.

Photo credit: U.S. source involved in the mission

Photo credit: U.S. source involved in the mission

Biden administration officials have revealed little about that injury, with Singh only saying that it was a “noncombat injury that happened on a ship that was away from the pier.” They recently acknowledged that the service member is in critical condition, and was recently moved along with his family from a hospital in Israel to the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.

According to the U.S. source, the service member is “currently brain dead in a coma.” Breitbart News reached out to the 7th Transportation Brigade — Expeditionary to confirm the service member’s injuries and status, but did not receive a response.

The Pentagon has acknowledged two other service members being injured, calling them “minor” injuries.

However, the second U.S. source said troops are “being injured daily and not being taken off the mission.”

“Someone dislocated their shoulder [and is] still being forced to work,” the source said. “Others are getting injuries [and are] still just being ignored because they just want this mission to show as a ‘success.’ It’s a disaster.”

Watch Video:

Obtained by Breitbart News

In addition, the sources said troops were getting “barely more than two meals a day,” with some getting only one meal a day, consisting of cucumber sandwiches. The first U.S. source said this is because “chow hours” do not match up with the shift hours, and some locations troops are working at do not have meals prepared for them.

Sources also said troops are unable to shower or do laundry for days.

“I just feel like priorities of a [command sergeant major] and brigade commander are not in the right places. It’s push aid whatever you have to do, I don’t care what it takes and not how can we push aid safely,” said the first U.S. source.

They also said some sailors attached to Army vessels who were offloading aid at a pier in Israel were left at the pier overnight due to bad weather, and were forced to sleep in tents on the pier.

One of the sources said the pier breaking apart could have been avoided if commanders had listened to troops’ warnings.

Photo credit: U.S. source involved in the mission

Photo credit: U.S. source involved in the mission

“Army Mariners and Warrant Officers who know the Army watercraft field and capabilities of the equipment warned the generals and field grade officers days before the weather got bad out there and they needed to go to a safe haven with the boats and Trident pier,” the source said.

“The brigade commander and higher shut it down and less than 18 hours later it resulted in damage of the Trident pier breaking apart, vessels becoming beached, some vessels sinking and one of them sitting at the ocean floor resulting in wasting millions in taxpayer dollars and halting aid,” the source said.

Despite the weather being an ongoing concern, there is also currently no changes to how the mission will operate.

Watch Video:

Obtained by Breitbart News

Singh, the deputy Pentagon press secretary, said recently:

There’s no change to how JLOTS is going to continue to operate. What we are going to do is continue to monitor weather conditions. If there is a time and place where the commander feels that, you know, there’s another storm coming and out of an abundance of caution, you know, removes that temporary pier for — whether it be hours or a day, you know, I could see that, you know, potentially happening in the future, but obviously it’s hard to predict the future when it comes to weather.

There seems to be no respite for troops on the horizon, with deputy Central Command commander suggesting the workload would only increase in coming days.

Navy Vice Admiral Brad Cooper told reporters last week:

We’re certainly moving with a sense of urgency. In the last week, there’ve generally only been two crossings that are opening, so now, we are enabling a third crossing or a third entry point into Gaza. So we want to seize this opportunity and get the aid to the people as quickly as possible. We anticipate that our goal will be to deliver 500,000 pounds over the beach initially, and then wrap that up soon thereafter. So essentially, everything — a million pounds over every two-day period. We are definitely moving with a sense of urgency and coordinating with all of the partners to move as quickly as possible.

Despite these unsafe conditions, sources say troops are being denied hazardous duty pay.

The sources also say families are being left in the dark as to when troops may come home from the dangerous mission. The troops were deployed for the mission in mid-March, about a week after President Joe Biden announced the mission with fanfare during his State of the Union speech. The sources said families were originally told troops would be home at the of May, but are now being told the end of June or July.

Photo credit: U.S. source involved in the mission

Photo credit: U.S. source involved in the mission

Sources are also suspicious about when the Biden administration concocted the pier plan and how long they kept families in the dark about it. One source claimed that the aid was packaged in December, but troops were only told about the mission two days before Biden’s speech on March 7.

The Biden administration has tried to shield itself from criticism by noting that troops had sacrificed time with their families for the mission, including on Mother’s and Father’s Day. Singh said at a press briefing on May 28:

I have to push back on the fact that this a failure because at the end of the day you have, you know, men and women out there separated from their families…who are putting others first — to try to be part of a lifesaving humanitarian mission…

However, the second U.S. source said, “I can tell you right now not one single service member is happy about being there. Missing Mother’s Day, Father’s Day for this sham of an operation.”

Recently, a petition was started by a military spouse on Change.org to ask the Biden administration to bring the troops back home. It said:

As a family member of an active duty military member currently deployed in Gaza , I am deeply concerned for the well-being of our troops who have been deployed in Gaza since March 21st. Families are forced to watch all events unfold on the news, with no clear communication about when they can return home. The families are left in the dark, receiving no information about their loved ones’ return.

It added:

The pier has failed numerous times and there is still no end in sight.

The government is forcing this operation while knowing this has failed from the start.

They are being forced to work 24 hour shifts, little sleep and barely any food to recover. Forcing them to make mistakes and injure themselves during the process.

Their injuries are being ignored and are given no answers to any questions of their homecoming.

They are forced to miss Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and birthdays because the government is using this as a political campaign, robbing all American citizens of the newest estimate of [$230] millions dollars.

Our brave active duty troops deserve better than this uncertainty and lack of support. It’s time to bring them home safely and reunite them with their families. Please sign this petition to urge our leaders to take immediate action and bring our troops back from Gaza.

The Biden administration recently suggested there was no end date for the mission. When asked during a press conference about the total cost of the mission, Singh said it depended on how long the mission would last and on future costs.

“The cost could fluctuate depending on the length of the mission and future costs,” she said last week.

Retired Israeli Defense Force Brig. Gen. Amir Avivi told Breitbart News in an interview on Monday that there are much easier ways to transfer aid to Gaza, and agreed that the operation was a photo-op.

“It’s easier to simply bring it to our port in Ashdod and there, put onto trucks and transfer it into Gaza. There was no real reason to do this pier,” he said.

“I think that the only reason I can think about, is it’s not really the aid per se, but it’s very visual. And I think it’s to show, ‘Look, we’re doing something you know we are really trying to bring a solution,’” he said.

Avivi also predicted there will be more attacks on the pier.

After Palestinian news outlets reported that the pier was used in an Israeli operation to rescue four hostages, there have been concerns about the pier becoming even more of a target.

The United Nations World Food Programme recently suspended operations distributing humanitarian aid from the pier out of concern for its staff’s safety.

“There might be a situation where the pier will be attacked again by rocket motors it could happen and something that they need to take into account,” Avivi told Breitbart News.

Follow Breitbart News’s Kristina Wong on ”X”, Truth Social, or on Facebook.

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