April 13, 2024

Balkan Travellers

Comprehensive up-to-date news coverage, aggregated from sources all over the world

The war between Israel and Gaza: The United States carries out the first airdrop of aid into the Strip

The war between Israel and Gaza: The United States carries out the first airdrop of aid into the Strip

Video explanation,

Watch: The United States delivers humanitarian aid to Gaza

The United States carried out the first airdrop of humanitarian aid to Gaza, dropping more than 30,000 meals by parachute by three military aircraft.

The operation, carried out jointly with the Jordanian Air Force, was the first of many announced by President Joe Biden.

The head of a well-known relief organization told the BBC that he believes there is famine in northern Gaza.

At least 112 people were killed when crowds rushed an aid convoy outside Gaza City on Thursday.

Hamas accused them of murder. Israel denies this and says it is investigating the matter.

The first US airdrop comes as a senior US official said the framework of a six-week ceasefire agreement in Gaza had been established.

The Biden administration official said on Saturday that Israel had “more or less accepted” the deal.

The unnamed official said, “There will be a six-week ceasefire in Gaza starting today if Hamas agrees to release a specific category of vulnerable hostages (…) the sick, the wounded, the elderly, and women.”

The mediators are scheduled to meet again in Cairo on Sunday, and Egyptian officials said delegations from Hamas and Israel are expected to arrive to participate in the negotiations.

One official said some technical issues related to the potential deal still needed to be resolved, such as how many Palestinian prisoners Israel would release in exchange for hostages held by Hamas.

On Saturday, US Central Command said in a statement that C-130 transport planes dropped more than 38,000 meals along the Gaza coast.

He added, “These air drops are part of an ongoing effort to deliver more aid to Gaza, including by expanding the flow of aid via land corridors and roads.”

Other countries, including the United Kingdom, France, Egypt and Jordan, have previously airdropped aid into Gaza, but this is the first time the United States has done so.

Jan Egeland, head of the relief organization Norwegian Refugee Council, has just returned from a three-day visit to Gaza.

“I was prepared for a nightmare, but it's worse, much worse,” Egeland told the BBC on Sunday.

“People want to take your hand… saying, 'We are starving and dying here,'” he added.

“I think there is famine in the north,” he said, adding that no aid had reached about 300,000 people living in ruins, with Israel not allowing any of it to pass.

US administration officials said that the “tragic incident” that occurred on Thursday highlighted “the importance of expanding and sustaining the flow of humanitarian aid to Gaza in response to the deteriorating humanitarian situation.”

Comment on the photo,

Dozens are receiving treatment at Al-Shifa Hospital following Thursday's tragedy

Aid agencies have said airdrops are an ineffective way to deliver aid.

“Airdrops are expensive, indiscriminate and often result in the wrong people getting aid,” Egeland said.

Medhat Taher, a displaced Gaza resident, told Reuters news agency that this method is completely insufficient.

“Will this be enough for a school? Is it enough for 10,000 people?” he asked. He said. “It is better to send aid through the crossings and better than airdrops by parachute.”

In his statement on Friday, President Biden said the United States “will insist that Israel facilitate more trucks and more roads to provide more and more people with the assistance they need.”

Reuters quoted a White House official as saying that US Vice President Kamala Harris will meet with Israeli war cabinet member Benny Gantz in Washington on Monday to discuss a truce and other issues.

In the incident on Thursday, 112 people were killed and more than 760 others were injured as they gathered around aid trucks on the southwestern edge of Gaza City.

Israel said most of them died in a stampede after it fired warning shots.

Georgios Petropoulos, head of the UN Coordination Sub-Office for Humanitarian Affairs in Gaza, told the BBC that he and a team sent to Al-Shifa Hospital found a large number of people with gunshot wounds.

Video explanation,

Watch: Destruction after dozens were killed in the Gaza aid operation

On the other hand, Hamas said that an Israeli bombing killed at least 11 people in a camp in Rafah in southern Gaza on Saturday. World Health Organization head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus described the attack as “terrible.” The Israeli army said it carried out a “precise strike” against Islamic Jihad activists in the area.

The United Nations World Food Program has warned that famine is imminent in the northern Gaza Strip, which has received little aid in recent weeks and where an estimated 300,000 people live with little food or clean water.

The Israeli military launched a massive air and ground campaign to destroy Hamas after its militants killed about 1,200 people in southern Israel on October 7 and took 253 hostages to Gaza.

The Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza says more than 30,000 people, including 21,000 children and women, have been killed in Gaza since then with about 7,000 missing and at least 70,450 injured.

See also  Japan's justice minister resigns over comments on death penalty | Death Penalty News