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US-led Aid Air Drop Operation Kills Five in Gaza

Officials from Gaza’s Ministry of Health and eyewitnesses have confirmed that US-led aid air drops to Gaza have killed five people on Friday after a parachute failed to open, as heavy packages crushed innocent residents. The victims were located in the Al-Shati refugee camp in northern Gaza. The incident occurred at 11:30 am local time (4:30 am EST).

An anonymous US official told CBS that an “initial review” showed how the pallet caused the deaths, but they claim it was not dropped by an American plane, but by another country, saying that further investigation would be needed.

By all accounts, this should highlight the obvious fact that aid should be sent into the Gaza Strip by trucks, but the Israelis are intentionally blocking normal aid deliveries…

CBS News reports…

CBS News was told there were two boys among the five people killed and that 11 others were injured in the incident. The exact ages of the casualties were not clear, but those injured were said to be between 30 and 50 years old.

The U.S., Jordan, Egypt, France, the Netherlands and Belgium dropped aid over Gaza Friday in an attempt to get supplies, including desperately needed food, to residents amid an ever-worsening humanitarian crisis there. A U.S. defense official told CBS News an initial review indicated the U.S. airdrop was not responsible for the fatalities on the ground, but said that further investigation was required.

U.S. Central Command stated that the fatalities were not caused by U.S. airdrops in a Friday evening social media post.

“We are aware of reports of civilians killed as a result of humanitarian airdrops,” CENTCOM said. “We express sympathies to the families of those who were killed. Contrary to some reports, this was not the result of U.S. airdrops.”

Video posted on social media showed a large cluster of aid parcels suspended from parachutes drifting through the sky but appearing to get tangled before one, with its chute deployed but not fully opened, drops much more quickly than the rest.

The airdrops have been criticized by international aid agencies and others as wholly insufficient to meet the needs of the people of Gaza.

The United Nations has warned of widespread famine among Gaza’s roughly 2.3 million residents, and the global body’s top humanitarian aid coordinator, Martin Griffiths, said Friday in a social media post marking six months of war in Gaza that the airdrops were a “last resort.”

“All those concerned about the situation in Gaza should put pressure on Israeli government to grant unimpeded humanitarian land access & not blocking convoys,” the European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said Thursday, calling the airdrops “good but insufficient.”

U.S. officials have acknowledged to CBS News that the airdrops are not enough to meet the huge need in Gaza. They say they’re a statement that the world is not just standing by as a famine unfolds…

Continue this story at CBS







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