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US Military To Airdrop Food And Supplies Into War Stricken Gaza

Officials anticipate that airdrops could commence as early as this weekend.

US President Joe Biden announced on Friday plans to initiate the first military airdrop of food and supplies into Gaza, responding to the unfolding humanitarian catastrophe in the densely populated coastal enclave.

The decision follows the tragic deaths of Palestinians queuing for aid, drawing international attention to the dire situation.

President Biden stated that the US airdrop would occur in the coming days, with specific details yet to be provided. Jordan and France have already undertaken similar airdrops of aid into Gaza.

Emphasizing the need for increased assistance, Biden assured reporters that the United States would intensify its efforts, acknowledging that the current aid reaching Gaza is insufficient.

White House spokesperson John Kirby highlighted that airdrops would become a sustained effort, with the initial drop likely consisting of military MREs, or “meals ready-to-eat.” Kirby emphasized, “This isn’t going to be one and done.”

President Biden also revealed that the US is exploring the potential of a maritime corridor to deliver larger amounts of aid into Gaza. Officials anticipate that airdrops could commence as early as this weekend.

The dire situation in Gaza is underscored by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, reporting that at least 576,000 people, a quarter of Gaza’s population, are on the brink of famine. The Gaza Strip has faced significant challenges for nearly five months, stemming from the conflict initiated by a Hamas attack on Israel in October.

Israeli forces, in a tragic incident, were reported to have killed over 100 people attempting to reach a relief convoy near Gaza City on Thursday. Israel attributed most of the deaths to crowds surrounding aid trucks, asserting that victims had been trampled or run over. Amidst reports of individuals resorting to eating animal feed and cacti, the UN has encountered overwhelming obstacles in delivering aid.

While details on the aircraft type remain unclear, experts suggest that planes like the C-17 and C-130 are best suited for the airdrop mission. Retired US Air Force General David Deptula expressed confidence in the US military’s ability to effectively execute airdrops, acknowledging challenges but considering them surmountable.

President Biden and other nations also anticipate that aid efforts could be bolstered by a temporary ceasefire. Biden expressed hope for a ceasefire by the start of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan on March 10.

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi

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