US conducts first aid airdrop into Gaza amid humanitarian crisis

The U.S. military executed its inaugural airdrop of humanitarian aid into Gaza on Saturday in response to the escalating humanitarian crisis. The move came after the plight of Palestinians queuing for food highlighted the severe conditions in the densely populated region, worsened by ongoing Israeli military operations.

Countries such as Jordan and France have previously made aid airdrops in Gaza. According to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, around 576,000 people, a quarter of Gaza’s population, are on the brink of famine.

Utilizing C-130 transport aircraft, the U.S. military delivered over 38,000 meals along the Mediterranean coastline of Gaza, with Jordanian forces participating in the operation, the U.S. military reported.

A U.S. official, speaking to Reuters, indicated that the airdrops were conducted over southwestern Gaza and the town of Mawasi.

On Friday, March 1, the White House announced the aid airdrops would be part of a prolonged effort and mentioned that Israel had approved the initiative. The U.S. has been advocating for months for Israel to allow increased aid access to Gaza, which Israel has been hesitant to do.

However, there are criticisms regarding the efficacy of airdrops, with opponents arguing they provide only minimal relief to the ongoing suffering. There are also concerns about the feasibility of ensuring that the supplies do not fall into the hands of militants.