Britain airdrops food into famine-threatened Gaza as new routes sought to deliver aid

Britain airdrops food into famine-threatened Gaza as new routes sought to deliver goods

March 26 (UPI) — Britain’s military has airdropped more than 10 metric tones of food into northern Gaza, officials said Tuesday, as nations seek alternative routes to deliver humanitarian goods to the Palestinian enclave as it faces famine conditions.

The aid of water, rice, cooking oil, flour, tinned goods and baby formula had departed from Amman, Jordan, aboard a Royal Air Force A400M and was dropped along the northern coastline of Gaza on Monday, the ministry said, adding that it was Britain’s first-ever mission to deliver humanitarian aid by parachute.

“The UK’s goal is to use every route possible to deliver life-saving aid, whether that is by road, air or new routes via the sea,” Defense Secretary Grant Shapps said in a statement.

Britain now adds to name to a number of countries that have turned to airdropping supplies in to Gaza where Palestinians face the risk of starving to death amid Israel’s war in the enclave against Hamas.

Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and France have conducted airdrop missions since at late last month, with the United States conducted its first such mission in early March.

Morocco has also conducted airdrops this month, with Singapore conducting its first airdrop mission into Gaza last week. According to Israel, it has permitted more than 40 such air drop missions. The U.S. military has conducted 17 of those missions, based on releases from U.S. Central Command.

Since Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel Oct. 7, Israel has been responding with a brutal ground and air offense that has killed more than 32,000 Palestinians as well as blocking aid to the enclave.

Though diplomacy has resulted in Israel allowing some aid into Gaza, it falls well short of the 500 trucks of supplies that the enclave received daily prior to war and what the Palestinians need to stave off starvation.

At least 25 people in Gaza, including infants, have died from malnutrition and drought, according to figures released earlier this month by the Palestinian Ministry of Health, though the officials suggest the actual figure could be much higher as its number “reflects only what happens in hospitals.”

Humanitarian organizations, as well as the United Nations, have blamed Israel for hindering the flow of aid into the enclave, while Israel has blamed the United Nations and its aid organizations inside Gaza for failing to distribute food.

On Sunday, the United Nations said that Israel banned its relief agency for Palestinian refugees known as UNRWA from distributing humanitarian aid to northern Gaza, which faces the gravest threat of famine of the entire enclave.

UNRWA said it has not been able to distribute food to the region in nearly two months. Israel on Monday responded with a short video it published on social media stating it is committed to delivering aid to northern Gaza while stating UNRWA, “on the other hand, has long forsaken its role in facilitating any aid to the north.”


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