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5 Countries Military Aircraft Dropped Over Gaza Amidst Crisis

In Jerusalem, military planes executed an aid airdrop over Gaza on Sunday during the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, targeting the northern besieged territory where the risk of famine is dire after over five months of conflict. The event, witnessed by an AFP photographer on board a Jordanian military plane, depicted hundreds of Palestinians scrambling to collect essential supplies from descending pallets.

According to the Jordanian army, the relief operation involved the participation of US, French, Belgian, and Egyptian planes, collectively conducting six airdrops in northern Gaza. Jordan had previously carried out 37 unilateral airdrop operations and 40 in collaboration with partner nations throughout the course of the war.

During a three-hour span across northern Gaza, the AFP journalist observed a scene of urgency as men, women, and children eagerly awaited the airdropped pallets upon hearing the approaching planes. The photographer, looking out from the plane, also noted extensive destruction on the ground.

The United Nations has warned that the majority of Gaza's 2.4 million population is on the brink of famine, particularly in the north, where Israeli restrictions have hindered overland aid access. The health ministry in Gaza, under Hamas rule, reported at least 23 recent deaths, predominantly children, attributed to malnutrition and dehydration.

Aid groups highlight the insufficient supplies entering Gaza since October, emphasizing the need for improved overland access rather than relying solely on airdrops or maritime shipments. The conflict's origins trace back to Hamas's unprecedented attack on southern Israel on October 7, resulting in approximately 1,160 deaths, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of official Israeli figures. In retaliation, Israel's military campaign has claimed at least 31,045 lives in Gaza, predominantly women and children, according to the territory's health ministry. The dire humanitarian crisis persists, with ongoing calls for a comprehensive and sustainable resolution.

March 11, 2024 11:41 a.m. 9617

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