Biden approves military air drops of aid into Gaza after Israeli firing left more than 100 dead

“Aid flowing to Gaza is nowhere nearly enough...We won’t stand by until we get more aid in there,” U.S. President Joe Biden said

Updated - March 04, 2024 06:55 pm IST

Published - March 02, 2024 02:09 am IST - WASHINGTON

U.S. President Joe Biden announced that the country will join with Jordan and others to airdrop food and other supplies to Gaza a day after Israeli troops opened fire on people as they pulled goods off an aid convoy.

U.S. President Joe Biden announced that the country will join with Jordan and others to airdrop food and other supplies to Gaza a day after Israeli troops opened fire on people as they pulled goods off an aid convoy. | Photo Credit: Reuters

U.S. President Joe Biden said March 1 that the U.S. will begin air-dropping humanitarian assistance into Gaza, a day after more than 100 Palestinians were killed during a chaotic encounter with Israeli troops.

He announced the move after at least 115 Palestinians were killed and more than 750 others were injured, according to Gaza’s Hamas-run Health Ministry, on Thursday when witnesses said Israeli troops opened fire as huge crowds raced to pull goods off an aid convoy. Israel said many of the dead were trampled in a stampede linked to the chaos and that its troops fired at some in the crowd who they believed moved toward them in a threatening way.

Palestinians who were wounded in Israeli fire while waiting for aid receive treatment at the Al Shifa hospital, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in Gaza City, March 1, 2024.

Palestinians who were wounded in Israeli fire while waiting for aid receive treatment at the Al Shifa hospital, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in Gaza City, March 1, 2024. | Photo Credit: Reuters

Mr. Biden said the air drops would begin soon and that the United States was looking into additional ways to facilitate getting badly needed aid into the war-battered Gaza to ease the suffering of Palestinians.

“In the coming days we’re going to join with our friends in Jordan and others who are providing airdrops of additional food and supplies” and will "seek to open up other avenues in, including possibly a marine corridor,” he said.

Mr. Biden twice referred to airdrops to help Ukraine, but White House officials clarified that he was referring to Gaza.

Biden made the announcement while hosting Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni at the White house.

“Aid flowing to Gaza is nowhere nearly enough," Mr. Biden said. "Now, it’s nowhere nearly enough. Innocent lives are on the line and children’s lives are on the line. We won’t stand by until we get more aid in there. We should be getting hundreds of trucks in, not just several.”

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