PALESTINE

Mon 04 Mar 2024 3:05 pm - Jerusalem Time

Aid organizations criticize Washington for dropping aid to Gaza instead of pressuring Israel

Aid groups and officials have criticized the United States for dropping humanitarian aid to Gaza by plane instead of pressuring Israel to allow more aid trucks into the enclave, where the entire population faces “crisis” levels of food insecurity.


The US Central Command announced on Saturday that it had carried out a "joint airdrop operation for humanitarian aid in Gaza" in cooperation with the Royal Jordanian Air Force. The command said that US C-130 military transport planes dropped 38,000 meals on Gaza, which is inhabited by about 2.2 million people.


The international charity Oxfam said the airdrops "serve mostly to ease the consciences of senior American officials whose policies contribute to the ongoing atrocities and risk of famine in Gaza," and called on the United States to end military aid to Israel.


Scott Paul, who leads Oxfam's US government "advocacy" group, said: "While Palestinians in Gaza have been pushed to the absolute brink, dropping a paltry, symbolic amount of aid into Gaza without a plan to distribute it safely will not help the Palestinians and is deeply insulting to them." 


He added: "Instead of indiscriminate airdrops in Gaza, the United States must stop the flow of weapons to Israel, which are used in indiscriminate attacks, and press for an immediate ceasefire and the release of hostages, and insist that Israel adhere to its duty to provide aid." Humanitarian aid, access to humanitarian aid, delivery of humanitarian aid, delivery of humanitarian aid, delivery of humanitarian aid, to Gaza and other basic services.”


In turn, Dave Harden, a former official at the US Agency for International Development, said that the airdrops show that the US government is weak in not exerting more pressure on Israel. Harden said in a media statement: “The airdrops are symbolic and designed in ways to appease the local base.” “What really needs to happen is [opening] more crossings and more trucks coming in every day... I think the United States is weak and that's really disappointing to me.”


American officials acknowledged in press statements (to Axios) that airdrops have only a limited impact because the American military plane can only drop the amount of aid equivalent to what one or two aid trucks can carry.


The United Nations has warned that at least 576,000 Palestinians in Gaza “face catastrophic levels of deprivation and hunger,” and widespread famine is expected if the situation on the ground does not change significantly. At least 15 Palestinian children have starved to death in Gaza over the past few days.


The US airdrops came after at least 112 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces, who opened fire on civilians waiting for aid trucks in northern Gaza, in an incident known as the “flour massacre.” A similar incident occurred on Sunday.


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Aid organizations criticize Washington for dropping aid to Gaza instead of pressuring Israel

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