United States to deliver food aid to Gaza by air, Joe Biden announced

(CNN)- The United States will begin delivering food aid by air to people in Gaza, President Joe Biden announced this Friday, as the humanitarian crisis in the war-torn territory deepens and Israel plans to open additional land crossings to allow the entry of more aid. Is opposing.

From the Oval Office, Biden said the US would make “every effort possible” to bring additional aid to Gaza, an area that has been under intense bombardment by Israel following the October 7 Hamas terrorist attacks.

“The aid flowing into Gaza is nowhere near enough,” Biden warned. He also said that “hundreds of trucks” would have to enter the enclave.

In that sense, he said that the United States “will insist that Israel provide more trucks and more routes so that more people can get the help they need without any excuse.”

He also highlighted efforts to reach an agreement that would release the hostages and ensure an “immediate ceasefire”, which would allow the entry of additional aid.

A US official told CNN that the US military is working to deliver air support in the coming days.

The announcement by Washington about food aid being sent marks a recognition of the dire situation in Gaza, where more than 100 people died after Israeli troops opened fire on Thursday while civilians waited for food convoys in the north of the enclave. Were staying. Eyewitnesses told CNN that aid trucks attempted to flee the area amid the gunfire, accidentally killing and injuring others.

Delivering humanitarian aid by air will provide some relief to the people on the ground. However, this move is highly unlikely to result in a permanent solution to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, as each unit launched will only deliver a fraction of the aid that can be delivered to the enclave by truck.

Now, the US decision underscores the devastating impact of the Israeli government’s refusal to open more land crossings to deliver critically needed aid. So far, US calls for Netanyahu’s government to open more entry points into the north have failed. In the south, the number of trucks entering the enclave dropped to just 85 per day last week.

Biden made the announcement as his administration faces intense internal criticism over its handling of the conflict, criticism that has had political consequences for the president during an election year.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby described airlift as “a complement, not a replacement, for ground transportation.”

For his part, State Department spokesman Matt Miller said Thursday that the measure would “help immediately.”

“But the real solution to this is to get or try to get an agreement that will dramatically increase the flow of aid, and help with delivery problems and help deal with the problem of citizens not being able to safely come and go.” Being able to go face to face. It helps when it actually comes out,” Miller said at a department briefing.

Earlier this week, Jordan, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and France delivered humanitarian aid to several areas of Gaza, a sign of how dire the situation has become.

help gaza air

Palestinians run into the street as Jordan drops humanitarian aid into Gaza City on March 1, amid clashes between Israel and Hamas. (Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Kirby confirmed this Friday that talks are ongoing with Israel and other interested parties about a possible sea corridor to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza. However, a US official told CNN that a number of logistical challenges would need to be resolved to actually get the corridor operational.

Senior US officials have repeatedly pressed Israeli officials in face-to-face meetings about the urgent need to open additional crossings.

USAID Administrator Samantha Power met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant on Wednesday, saying, “This is a matter of life and death.” Power announced $53 million in additional humanitarian assistance during his visits to the region this week.

US officials have also spoken with Israeli officials about the need to ensure the safety of aid workers once they enter Gaza.

“The aid workers on the ground in Gaza who are risking their lives to deliver food to those who desperately need it must be protected. They need to know they can do their job without getting shot or killed,” Power said Tuesday.

US Middle East humanitarian envoy David Satterfield said last month that convoys inside the enclave had been attacked “by desperate mobs” and “by criminal elements”.

Satterfield said Israeli forces attacked members of a Hamas-led police force traveling with UN aid convoys in an attempt to protect them from looting, causing police to stop protecting the convoys.

“With the police escorts gone, it has become almost impossible for the UN or any other party (Jordan, UAE, any other implementer) to safely deliver aid to Gaza because of the criminal gangs,” he said.

CNN’s Oren Lieberman and Samantha Waldenberg both contributed to this report.

(TagstoTranslate)Gaza(T)Israeli warHamas(T)Joe Biden

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