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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Thousands of Meals Airdropped into Gaza by US Military in Urgent Humanitarian Aid Effort


WASHINGTON — In a significant move, U.S.⁤ military C-130 cargo planes initiated an emergency humanitarian assistance operation on Saturday, dropping food pallets over Gaza, as confirmed by three U.S. officials. This operation was authorized by President Joe Biden in response to‍ the tragic incident where over 100 Palestinians were killed during a chaotic interaction with Israeli troops⁢ while attempting to retrieve goods from ​an aid convoy.

According to two officials who wished to ⁣remain ⁢anonymous until a ‍public announcement, three planes from the Air Forces Central dropped a total of 66 bundles, which contained approximately 38,000 ⁣meals. These bundles were dropped in the southwest region of Gaza, specifically on the beach along the Mediterranean coast, as ⁤stated by a U.S. official.

This airdrop is anticipated to be ‌the first of ⁤many, as ‍announced by ⁢Biden⁤ on Friday. The aid distribution will be coordinated with Jordan, which has also been conducting airdrops to deliver food‍ to Gaza.

The Health Ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza reported that at least 115 Palestinians were killed and hundreds more injured in the ‍Thursday attack as they scrambled for aid. Israel maintains that many of the casualties were caused by a stampede​ for the food aid, and that ⁣their troops only fired warning shots when‌ the⁤ crowd advanced towards ‌them in a threatening ‍manner.

John Kirby, the White House ⁣national security spokesperson, stated on ⁣Friday that these airdrops were being planned ⁣to‌ deliver emergency humanitarian assistance‍ safely to the people on the ground. While the ‌United States believes these airdrops will help alleviate ⁣the dire situation in Gaza,⁢ Kirby‍ emphasized that they ‌are​ not a⁣ substitute for trucks, which​ can transport a larger ‍volume of aid more efficiently. However, the events of Thursday highlighted the ⁢risks associated with ⁣ground transport.

Kirby‌ further explained⁤ that airdrops have an advantage over trucks as planes can deliver aid to a specific location very quickly. However, in terms of volume, airdrops are intended to supplement, not⁢ replace, ground transport.

The C-130 is a popular⁤ choice for delivering aid to remote areas due to its ability to land in austere environments and its substantial cargo capacity. A C-130 can airlift up to 42,000 pounds of cargo, and its crews are skilled in rigging the cargo, which can sometimes ⁣include vehicles, onto ‌large pallets that​ can be safely dropped from the aircraft.

Air Force loadmasters secure the bundles onto pallets ⁤with netting that is rigged for release in the back of a C-130, and then crews release it with​ a parachute when the aircraft reaches the intended delivery zone.

The ​Air Force’s C-130 has⁢ been used in the past to airdrop humanitarian‍ aid into Afghanistan, Iraq, Haiti, and other locations. The aircraft is also used ⁣in the annual multi-national “Operation Christmas Drop” that ​airdrops⁤ pallets of toys, supplies, nonperishable food,‍ and fishing supplies to remote locations in the Federated States ⁤of Micronesia and​ the Republic of Palau.

Since the conflict began on Oct. 7, Israel ⁤has restricted the entry of food, ⁤water,⁢ medicine, ​and other supplies, ⁢except for a‌ small amount of aid entering⁣ from Egypt at the Rafah crossing and Israel’s Kerem Shalom crossing.

The United Nations⁢ reports ⁤that one-quarter of Gaza’s 2.3 ⁣million population faces the⁤ threat of starvation. Aid officials have stated that ‌airdrops‌ are not the most efficient means of distributing aid and are typically a measure of last resort.

Truth Media Network
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  1. Disagree – Military intervention only escalates the conflict in Gaza and does not address the root causes of the humanitarian crisis.


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