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At least 5 Gazans crushed to death by botched US aid airdrops, Palestinians report

At least five people were killed and several others injured when aid packages airdropped by the United States fell on top of them west of Gaza City, Palestinian media reported Friday afternoon.

Although Palestinian reports suggested the packages were dropped by Egypt or the U.S., it remains unclear who is responsible for the botched airdrop that supposedly led to the fatalities.

The Hamas government in Gaza said that the deaths occurred “as a result of incorrect delivery of aid to civilians.”

The terror organization’s government claimed that the airdrop operations are dangerous and called for humanitarian aid to be brought in only through land and handed over to “the competent authorities for distribution.”

Arab media reported that nine aid airdrops were conducted on Friday.

  • Jordan’s public broadcaster Al-Mamlaka reported that the operation involved four Jordanian planes, along with aircraft from Egypt, the U.S., France, the Netherlands and Belgium. The report clarified that the Jordanian planes were not responsible for the malfunctioning parachutes that led to the fatalities.
  • Additionally, the United Arab Emirates announced its participation in Friday’s airdrop, marking its fifth such operation, conducted in collaboration with Egypt.

The incident occurred just hours after U.S. President Joe Biden announced his plan to increase delivery of aid to Gaza through the sea, by building a pier off on the shores of the Strip. Biden stressed that no U.S. boots would be on the ground for the move.

Biden also called on Israel to do more to facilitate the introduction of humanitarian aid to Gaza. “Israel must allow more aid into Gaza and ensure that humanitarian workers aren’t caught in the crossfire, he said.

  • “To the leadership of Israel, I say this. Humanitarian assistance cannot be a secondary consideration or a bargaining chip. Protecting and saving innocent lives has to be a priority.”

  • The pier announced by Biden will facilitate the transfer of aid to Gaza from Cyprus via sea. It is capable of accommodating large ships carrying food, medicine, water and temporary shelters.

A U.S. military delegation has surveyed the northern Gaza Strip to pinpoint locations for installing the pier.

Although Israel knew about the inspections, the rapid pace of the American implementation was unexpected.

The assistance, provided by the United Arab Emirates, will be shipped from Limassol, Cyprus, after undergoing security checks.

Source: Ynet News