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    HomePoliticsBiden announces US airdrops of humanitarian assistance into Gaza

    Biden announces US airdrops of humanitarian assistance into Gaza

    AFP/Getty Images/File

    Palestinians gather to collect aid food in Beit Lahia, in the northern Gaza Strip, on February 26.


    The United States will begin air dropping food aid to the people of Gaza, President Joe Biden announced Friday, as the humanitarian crisis deepens and Israel continues to resist opening additional land crossings to allow more assistance into the war-torn strip.

    Speaking in the Oval Office, Biden said the US would be “pulling out every stop” to get additional aid into Gaza, which has been under heavy bombardment by Israel since the October 7 Hamas terror attacks.

    Biden said aid was not flowing into Gaza quickly enough, and said he was working to broker an immediate ceasefire deal that would allow additional aid in.

    The airdrops will provide some relief to those on the ground. However, their use is not a sustainable solution for the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, as the method can only bring in a fraction of the amount of aid that could be transported into the enclave by trucks.

    Instead, their use underscores the devastating impact of the Israeli government’s ongoing refusal to open more land crossings for the critically needed aid. The US’ calls for the Netanyahu government to open more crossings in the north have thus far failed. In the south, the number of trucks entering the war-torn strip trickled to just 85 per day last week.

    “Those would help immediately,” State Department spokesperson Matt Miller said Thursday when asked by CNN about the potential for carrying out airdrops.

    “But the real solution here to this is to try to get – or to get, I should say – an agreement that would dramatically increase the flow of assistance in and help with the distribution problems and help with the problem that civilians face of being able to move safely to get to aid when it actually does make it in,” Miller said at a department briefing.

    Earlier this week, Jordan, Egypt, the UAE, Qatar and France airdropped relief aid on various areas in the Gaza Strip in a sign of how desperate the situation has become.

    AFP/Getty Images

    Palestinians run along a street as humanitarian aid from Jordan is airdropped in Gaza City on March 1, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Hamas militant group.

    Senior US officials have repeatedly pressed Israeli officials in face-to-face meetings on the urgent need to open additional crossings.

    “This is a matter of life and death,” said USAID Administrator Samantha Power, who met on Wednesday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

    In addition, there are discussions with Israel and other stakeholders about a potential maritime corridor for humanitarian aid into Gaza, but numerous logistical challenges would need to be addressed for the corridor to actually be operational, a US official told CNN.

    CNN’s Oren Liebermann contributed reporting.

    This story is breaking and will be updated.



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