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Business News/ News / World/  Israel-Gaza War: US military aircraft airdrops food aid to Gaza in emergency humanitarian operation| 5 points
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Israel-Gaza War: US military aircraft airdrops food aid to Gaza in emergency humanitarian operation| 5 points

US initiated emergency food airdrops over Gaza following President Biden's approval, deploying C-130 planes to release 38,000 meals in southwest Gaza. The operation was coordinated with the Royal Jordanian Air Force, with plans for future airdrops to address the dire situation.

A U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules conducts an airdrop of humanitarian assistance over Gaza, March 2, 2024. U.S. Air Force/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY (via REUTERS)Premium
A U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules conducts an airdrop of humanitarian assistance over Gaza, March 2, 2024. U.S. Air Force/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY (via REUTERS)

C-130 cargo planes from the U.S. military on Saturday initiated an emergency humanitarian aid operation over Gaza, following authorization from President Joe Biden. This action came after over 100 Palestinians were killed during a tumultuous incident with Israeli troops while attempting to retrieve supplies from an aid convoy. Here are top 5 updates:

1. At 8:30 a.m. EST (3:30 p.m. local time), three aircraft operated by Air Forces Central carried out an airdrop over Gaza, releasing 66 bundles comprising approximately 38,000 meals. This operation took place in southwest Gaza, specifically along the territory's Mediterranean coastline. Coordination for the airdrop was established with the Royal Jordanian Air Force, which reported conducting two food airdrops in northern Gaza on the same Saturday and has executed several similar operations in recent months.

2. “The combined operation included U.S. Air Force and RJAF C-130 aircraft and respective Army Soldiers specialized in aerial delivery of supplies, built bundles and ensured the safe drop of food aid," U.S. Central Command said in a post on X.

3. The US airdrop is anticipated to mark the beginning of a series of such operations. According to three Biden administration officials, the planes dispensed military Meals Ready to Eat (MREs), which are shelf-stable meals containing a day's worth of calories in each sealed package. These meals were dropped in locations deemed safest for civilians to access aid, AP reported. Subsequently, US authorities monitored the sites and observed civilians approaching to distribute the food among themselves. The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to disclose additional details not yet publicized, provided this information.

4. U.S. Central Command, in a post on X, wrote, “Video and pictures of the preparation and airdrop of 38,000 meals to the people of Gaza on Mar. 2." Meanwhile, White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said on Friday that the airdrops were being planned to deliver emergency humanitarian assistance in a safe way to people on the ground. “The United States believes the airdrops will help address the dire situation in Gaza, but they are no replacement for trucks, which can transport far more aid more effectively, though Thursday’s events also showed the risks with ground transport," he noted.

 

5. AP reported that President Joe Biden on Friday announced the US would begin air-dropping food to starving Gazans after at least 115 Palestinians were killed and hundreds more wounded in the Thursday attack as they scrambled for aid, the Health Ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza said.

Since the onset of the war on October 7th, Israel has prevented the entry of essential supplies including food, water, and medicine into Gaza, with only a limited amount of aid permitted through the Rafah crossing from Egypt and Israel's Kerem Shalom crossing in the south.

The United Nations reports that a quarter of Gaza's 2.3 million population are at risk of starvation due to this blockade. Aid officials have emphasized that airdrops are not an efficient method of distributing aid and are typically employed only as a last resort.

(With inputs from AP)

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Published: 03 Mar 2024, 06:29 AM IST
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