US Will Start Airdropping Aid Into Gaza

Operation to start within days, Biden says in attributing shortages to Israel
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2024 2:33 PM CST
Biden Says US Will Airdrop Humanitarian Aid Into Gaza
President Biden meets with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni in the Oval Office of the White House on Friday.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

With the delivery of supplies into Gaza diminishing and the political pressure over the crisis increasing, President Biden announced Friday that the US will begin airdrops of humanitarian aid. The UN had warned that "famine is almost inevitable" unless something changes, per Axios, and a UN official said Friday that at least 10 Palestinian children have died of starvation. At the White House, Biden said Israel isn't allowing sufficient shipments. The amount of aid reaching Gaza is "nowhere near enough," he said, per Politico. "Innocent lives are on the line and children's lives are on the line. We should be getting hundreds of trucks in, not just several."

Palestinians have looted aid trucks after Hamas' civilian police stopped escorting the vehicles, saying they were being targeted by Israel. Aid workers have fallen under fire, per Axios. Along with Israeli restrictions, those factors have led to backups of supply trucks at crossings into Gaza. And on Thursday, more than 100 people who were waiting for supplies were killed in Gaza City. "We're going to pull out every stop we can," Biden said, in an appearance with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

Pentagon officials provided no information about how the drops would be carried out. Analysts pointed out that planes can't carry as much as a convoy of trucks can. Airdrops are a flawed solution, said a former official who handled aid for the US Agency for International Development, per Politico. Drops from a high altitude pose a danger to civilians, while drops from a low altitude are risky for the aircraft's crew, Dave Harden said. "Air drops are a symbol of massive failure," he posted on X. (More Israel-Hamas war stories.)

Get breaking news in your inbox.
What you need to know, as soon as we know it.
Sign up
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.