Hamas Urges For End To Aid Airdrops After 2 Killed In Gaza


'Real Danger': Hamas Urges For End To Aid Airdrops After 2 Killed In Gaza

Israel’s retaliatory offensive has killed at least 34,904 people in Gaza, say Hamas. (File)

Palestinian Territories:

Hamas on Thursday called for an end to airdrops of aid after two Palestinians were killed in northern Gaza when a aid pallet crashed into a warehouse after its parachute failed to open.

Several countries, including the United States, Britain and France, have resorted to regular aid airdrops in northern Gaza, where humanitarian agencies have warned of a looming famine.

On Tuesday, two people died when an aid parachute fell on the roof of a warehouse where residents had gathered to collect relief supplies.

The latest fatalities take to at least 21 the number of people killed when airdrops of aid have gone disastrously wrong, according to the Hamas authorities.

“We reiterate that airdrops pose a real danger to the lives of citizens and do not provide a real solution to alleviate the food crisis plaguing northern Gaza,” Salama Marouf, head of the government’s media office in Gaza, said in a statement.

“We call for an immediate halt to the delivery of aid in this ineffective and erroneous manner, and we call for the full activation of the land crossings to deliver humanitarian aid to northern Gaza.”

With only a trickle of aid reaching the starving north and the United Nations warning of “imminent famine”, foreign governments have turned to airdrops to get aid into the territory.

Aid agencies say the situation has deteriorated this week after Israeli forces closed the Rafah border crossing with Egypt after taking control of it.

Relief also has not been transferred into Gaza through the other main crossing between Israel and the Palestinian territory, Kerem Shalom, after it came under rocket fire three times since Sunday.

Meanwhile, a US container ship loaded with aid for Gaza left Cyprus Thursday in a new test of a maritime corridor to get relief into the besieged territory.

The US-flagged MV Sagamore left the port of Larnaca after being loaded with aid from Britain, Cyprus and the United States, Cyprus government spokesperson Yiannis Antoniou told the official CNA news agency.

US military engineers have been assembling a temporary pier for installation on the Gaza coast to unload maritime aid deliveries.

UN agencies and humanitarian aid groups have warned that maritime deliveries and airdrops cannot deliver aid in the quantities needed to avert acute food shortages for the 2.4 million people across Gaza.

Gaza has been devastated by the war which started with Hamas’s October 7 attack on southern Israel that resulted in the deaths of about 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of Israeli official figures.

Israel’s retaliatory offensive has killed at least 34,904 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas-run territory’s health ministry.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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