Airlift: US first aid packages dropped on Gaza

The airdrops were carried out using three C-130 transport planes, according to two US officials who spoke on condition of anonymity. A total of 66 packages containing tens of thousands of food items were dropped in the war zone. The aircraft type, also known as the “Hercules”, is used by the Central Army, among others. An official statement from the White House stated that Israel's support for these airdrops was and will continue in the future.

In the past few days and weeks, other countries, including France, Great Britain, Egypt and Jordan, have already dropped aid supplies in the Gaza Strip. Abandoned provides some relief from the need for food or medicine, especially in areas where aid distribution is difficult or impossible to reach by land, such as the northern Gaza Strip.

APA/AFP

Dropping aid packages can only provide part of the needed assistance

Israel has announced a cessation of hostilities for humanitarian purposes

However, UN bodies point out that the quantities that can be delivered by airdrops are very small. They say the effect is quickly dissipated because of the large number of people needed in the Gaza Strip. Furthermore, all order has collapsed in the affected areas of Gaza as a result of the war. Young people often fight over abandoned packages to get something for their families.

Gaza: US helps from the air

The US has begun providing air support to civilians in Gaza.

Israel announced on Saturday evening that it was suspending military operations for humanitarian purposes. According to the Israeli military, this is intended to facilitate the delivery of aid. Military spokesman X said on Twitter that the temporary suspension of military operations in individual parts of the Gaza Strip will apply from Saturday to Thursday from 10am to 2pm in different parts of the cities of Rafah and Deir al-Bala. A limited suspension of military operations should also help ensure safe access of civilians to distribution points for relief supplies.

UN: More than 500,000 people are at risk of starvation

US President Joe Biden, in a meeting with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, announced an airlift of US aid. “We must do more, America will do more,” Biden said. According to Biden, in addition to an airlift, the United States wants to explore the possibility of a shipping corridor to bring large amounts of aid to the Gaza Strip. The US president has said that aid to the Gaza Strip has so far been “inadequate”.

Jordanian army prepares aid packages for drop-off

Reuters/Jordanian Armed Forces

The Jordanian military has long been dropping aid supplies through Gaza

“Innocent lives are at stake, children's lives are at stake,” Biden said. At least 576,000 people in the Gaza Strip – a quarter of the population – are at risk of famine, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

A call to clarify the casualty incident

The US president made his comments a day after an attack on an aid convoy in Gaza City killed scores of people. On Thursday, thousands of people gathered around a convoy of 38 aid trucks. The Israeli military said there were dozens of deaths and injuries, some of them driven by trucks. An army official admitted to “limited” firing by Israeli soldiers who felt “threatened”.

The radical Islamist group Hamas spoke of a “massacre” in which at least 115 people were killed and more than 750 injured. No independent confirmation. A United Nations team said on Friday it found “numerous” people with “gunshot wounds” when it visited al-Shifa hospital in Gaza, said Stephane Dujarric, a spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

On Saturday, the EU diplomatic service said several Palestinians killed or wounded in the chaos were shot by the Israeli army. The horrific incident drew international condemnation and criticism. There have been calls for a wider investigation, including from France, Great Britain and the African Union. The EU diplomatic service also called for one on Saturday.

US negotiators: Framework for cease-fire is in place

At the same time, calls for a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip intensified. With the mediation of the United States, Egypt and Qatar, the struggle has been going on for several days. The aim is to reach an agreement before the start of Ramadan fasting on March 10 and 11. They work “hard” on the truce. But we're not quite there yet, the US president said on Friday.

On Saturday, Reuters news agency quoted a senior US official as saying there was a framework for a six-week ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. Israel has already agreed, but that depends on radical Islamist Hamas agreeing to release the hostages. “The deal is basically already in place, but we don't want to raise expectations one way or the other,” said the person, who did not want to be named.

Israel has previously been told Egypt, Qatar and the United States will not participate in a new round of talks until Hamas presents a list of hostages still alive, according to news website Axios. Hamas has yet to respond to the number of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails proposed by mediators that Israel would release in exchange for the release of a certain number of hostages.

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