Sunday, July 21, 2024

The United States confirms that Israel will not participate in inspecting food parcels


The Pentagon said Israel “did not participate in the inspection” of food parcels airdropped over Gaza on Saturday during a joint operation with Jordan. Jerusalem Post.

“The cargo is pre-packaged food that is inspected at the time of processing and before delivery,” the Pentagon said. He did not elaborate on how the goods were examined or the location from which the airdrop planes departed.

John Kirby, White House national security communications adviser, told reporters on Monday that the drop of 38,000 ready-to-eat meals to Gaza was done in cooperation with the Royal Jordanian Air Force. He said: “This operation witnessed the unloading of 66 aid packages on board three C-130 aircraft, which were delivered to the people who needed it most.” This is the second airdrop of its kind, as Jordan conducted the first of its kind on Tuesday. The United States plans to carry out more airdrops.

Other countries, including Belgium, want to conduct similar operations as a comprehensive solution to the problems of distributing ground aid during the ongoing fighting between Israel and Hamas, which, according to the United Nations, has created a food crisis in the food-starved Strip. Home to 2.3 million people.

Israeli opposition leader, MK Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid), raised concerns about the security aspects of such operations when he spoke to his party on Monday in the Knesset. In a speech attacking the government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Lapid said it was “unqualified” to manage the war or the necessary diplomacy around it.

Soldiers stand near a Belgian Air Force Airbus A400M Atlas, loaded with humanitarian aid intended for airdrop over Gaza, at the Belgian military airport in Melsbruck, Belgium, March 4, 2024. (Credit: Reuters/Yves Herman)

Lapid pointed to the issue of airdrops as an example, explaining that “the airdrops of Americans and Jordanians into Gaza did not pass security inspection. Americans have lost confidence in this government. “They have lost confidence in Netanyahu’s ability to manage the election campaign.”

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Israel inspects goods entering Gaza

The Israeli Office for the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories, charged with supervising goods entering Gaza by air, sea and land, said Israel participated in the inspections. He added, “The aid packages that are dropped by air into the Gaza Strip are subject to security checks in which Israeli officials also participate.”

The Office for the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories did not provide further details, nor did the United States or Lapid's office when pressed for more details on how security is handled or how goods that have been airdropped or will be airdropped in the future will be handled.

Israel imposes strict control on inspections of goods entering Gaza to ensure that no weapons or materials that can be used to produce weapons are smuggled into the Strip to help Hamas in its war against Israel. This includes an inspection mechanism for goods entering Gaza through the Egyptian Rafah border.

Before the war, there were three land crossings into Gaza, two controlled by Israel at Kerem Shalom and Erez and the third at Rafah under Egyptian control. Rafah and Erez were considered pedestrian crossings while Kerem Shalom was the main road for transporting goods into the enclave. For security reasons, Israel has long controlled Gaza's air and sea space. There is no port in Gaza for large cargo ships, and Gaza only had an airport for a brief period in the period from 1998 to 2001.

The Jordanian and American airdrops represent the first time in more than two decades that non-Israeli aircraft have flown over Gaza's airspace.

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Yona Jeremy Pope contributed to this report.