US launches first aid airdrop in Gaza

More than 30,000 meals were dropped by three military aircraft as the United States delivered its initial humanitarian assistance shipment to Gaza.

The joint operation with the Jordanian Air Force was the first of several that President Joe Biden declared would be carried out.

The leader of a prominent humanitarian organization stated that he believed northern Gaza was experiencing catastrophe.

On Thursday, as crowds rushed towards an aid convoy outside of Gaza City, at least 112 people were slain.

Hamas has suspected them of committing the murder. Israel refutes this claim and maintains that an investigation is underway.

The initial airdrop by the United States occurred as a senior US official declared that the groundwork for a six-week truce in Gaza was complete.

The Biden administration official stated that Israel had “essentially accepted” the agreement on Saturday.

An unidentified official stated that a six-week ceasefire in Gaza would commence today if Hamas consented to the release of vulnerable captives, including the sick, wounded, elderly, and women.

On Sunday, mediators are scheduled to convene once more in Cairo. Egyptian officials have reported that delegations representing both Hamas and Israel are anticipated to attend the negotiations.US launches first aid airdrop in Gaza

One official stated that there were still unresolved technical concerns regarding a potential agreement, including the number of Palestinian prisoners that Israel would release in exchange for Hamas detainees.

According to a statement from US Central Command, over 38,000 meals were dropped along the Gaza coastline by C-130 transport aircraft on Saturday.

It added that these airdrops are a component of an ongoing endeavor to increase the flow of aid into Gaza, including expanding land corridors and routes.

Although several other nations, such as the United Kingdom, France, Egypt, and Jordan, have previously delivered assistance to Gaza via airdrop, this marks the initial instance of such an operation by the United States.

The Norwegian Refugee Council’s director, Jan Egeland, has recently returned from a three-day vacation in Gaza.

“I expected a nightmare, but this one is significantly worse,” Mr. Egeland declared.

“People are reaching out to take your hand, proclaiming, ‘We are starving and dying here,'”

I believe there is famine in the north, he said, adding that 300,000 people living in devastation had not received any aid because Israel had prevented any from entering.

Officials from the United States administration stated that the “tragic incident” that occurred on Thursday had underscored “the critical nature of increasing and maintaining the provision of humanitarian aid to Gaza in light of the dire humanitarian situation.”

Aid organizations have stated that airdrops are an ineffective method of aid distribution.

Airdrops are costly and irregular and frequently result in the incorrect recipients receiving aid, according to Mr. Egeland.

Medhat Taher, a displaced resident of Gaza, told Reuters that this approach was grossly inadequate.

“Is this sufficient to outfit a school?” “Is this sufficient for ten thousand individuals?” he inquired. “It’s better to send aid via crossings than airdropping via parachutes.”

President Biden stated on Friday that the United States would “demand that Israel facilitate additional trucks and routes to get aid to an ever-increasing number of people in need.”

On Monday, Israeli war cabinet member Benny Gantz and US Vice President Kamala Harris will meet in Washington to discuss a truce and other matters, according to a White House official quoted by Reuters.

More than 760 individuals were injured, and 112 were killed in the incident that occurred on Thursday as a crowd gathered around aid trucks on the southwestern outskirts of Gaza City.

Israel reported that the majority perished in a crash after its discharge of warning rounds.

The director of the Gaza sub-office of the United Nations Co-ordinator for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Giorgios Petropoulos, stated that he and a team dispatched to al-Shifa Hospital discovered a significant number of individuals injured by bullets.

Hamas, meanwhile, reported that at least eleven individuals were slain on Saturday by an Israeli bombardment at a camp in Rafah, southern Gaza. The assault was described as “outrageous” by the head of the World Health Organisation, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. According to the Israeli military, a “precision strike” was executed against Islamic Jihad militants in the region.

The World Food Programme of the United Nations has issued a dire warning that catastrophe is imminent in northern Gaza, where an estimated 300,000 people are surviving on filthy water and food due to the lack of aid received in recent weeks.

The Israeli military initiated a large-scale air and ground campaign to eliminate Hamas on October 7, after its gunmen murdered approximately 1,200 people in southern Israel and abducted 253 back to Gaza as hostages.

Since then, according to the health ministry of Gaza, which is controlled by Hamas, over 30,000 people have been killed in Gaza, including 21,000 women and children; an additional 7,000 remain missing, and at least 70,450 have been injured.

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