Biden announced US airdrops of humanitarian aid into Gaza

AFP/Getty Images/File

On February 26, Palestinians gathered in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip to collect food aid.


US to begin airdropping food aid to Gazans, President Joe Biden announced Friday, as the humanitarian crisis deepens and Israel continues to oppose opening additional land crossings to deliver more aid to the war-torn region.

Speaking in the Oval Office, Biden said the United States would “pull out every stop” to get more aid to Gaza, which has come under heavy Israeli bombardment since the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attack.

Biden said aid was not flowing quickly into Gaza, and said he was working to broker an immediate cease-fire agreement that would allow more aid.

Airdrops provide some relief to those on the ground. However, their use is not a sustainable solution to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, as this method can only bring a fraction of the aid that can be transported to the enclave by trucks.

Rather, their use underscores the disastrous impact of the Israeli government's refusal to open more land crossings to its pressing need. U.S. calls for Netanyahu's government to open more crossings in the north have so far failed. In the south, the number of trucks entering the war-torn region dropped to just 85 a day last week.

“They will help immediately,” State Department spokesman Matt Miller said Thursday when asked by CNN about the possibility of implementing airdrops.

“But the real solution to this is to try to get — or get, I should say — something that will dramatically increase the flow of aid and help with distribution issues and help the problem that the public is facing. It's actually going to be safe to get help while it's making it,” Miller said at an industry conference.

See also  Israeli soldiers killed hostages carrying white flags, mistaking them for Hamas fighters

Earlier this week, Jordan, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and France provided aerial relief aid in a sign of how desperate the situation has become in various parts of the Gaza Strip.

AFP/Getty Images

Palestinians run in the street as Jordanian humanitarian aid airdrops in Gaza City, March 1, amid ongoing conflict between Israel and the Hamas militant group.

Senior US officials have repeatedly met with Israeli officials face-to-face to press the urgent need to open more crossings.

“This is a matter of life and death,” said USAID Administrator Samantha Power, who met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant on Wednesday.

In addition, there are discussions with Israel and other partners about a possible maritime corridor for humanitarian aid into Gaza, but a number of logistical challenges need to be resolved before that corridor actually works, a US official told CNN.

CNN's Oren Liebermann contributed reporting.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *