Biden says US military to airdrop food and supplies into Gaza

March 2, 2024 12:40 pm

US President Joe Biden [Source: Reuters]

U.S. President Joe Biden announced on Friday plans to carry out a first military airdrop of food and supplies into Gaza, a day after the deaths of Palestinians queuing for aid threw a spotlight on an unfolding humanitarian catastrophe in the crowded coastal enclave.

Biden said the U.S. airdrop would take place in the coming days but offered no further specifics. Other countries, including Jordan and France, have already carried out airdrops of aid into Gaza.

At the White House, spokesperson John Kirby stressed that airdrops would become “a sustained effort.” He added that the first airdrop would be likely be military MREs, or “meals ready-to-eat.”

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Biden told reporters that the U.S. was also looking at the possibility of a maritime corridor to deliver large amounts of aid into Gaza.

The airdrops could begin as early as this weekend, officials said.

At least 576,000 people in the Gaza Strip – one quarter of the enclave’s population – are one step away from famine, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Gaza health authorities said Israeli forces had killed more than 100 people trying to reach a relief convoy near Gaza City early on Thursday. Palestinians face an increasingly desperate situation nearly five months into the war that began with a Hamas attack on Israel on Oct. 7.