UK drops aid into Gaza by parachute as UN says northern Gaza in ‘full-blown famine’ | Politics News

The UK has dropped more aid into Gaza today – bringing the total amount dropped in by parachute to more than 100 tonnes.

Twelve tonnes of ready-to-eat meals, water, rice, tinned goods and flour were dropped along Gaza’s northern coastline on pallets attached to parachutes by RAF and British Army personnel from A400M transport planes.

It is the 11th airdrop since the UK struck a deal with Jordan allowing it to drop aid by air into Gaza via Royal Air Force planes for the first time in late March.

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Before that, UK aid had been airdropped by Jordanian planes after deliveries to northern Gaza by land and sea became a struggle due to the violence and chaos.

The United Nations (UN) says northern Gaza is already in a state of “full-blown famine”.

The UK has now airdropped more than 100 tonnes of aid into Gaza since the Israel-Hamas war began on 7 October.

It says drop zones are regularly surveyed by personnel to ensure civilians are not harmed when the aid lands after flying an hour from Amman, Jordan.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said the UK’s commitment to delivering large quantities of aid to Gaza is “unwavering” and shows “where our focus lies over the coming weeks and months”.

“We continue to pressure Israel to fully open Ashdod Port as well as more land crossings,” he said.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps says getting aid into Gaza is an important priority for the UK. Pic: PA

Mr Shapps also mentioned the deployment of support ship RFA Cardigan Bay last month to the Eastern Mediterranean, which is providing accommodation to hundreds of American soldiers and sailors building a temporary pier off the Gazan coast to facilitate aid deliveries.

Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron said delivering aid by air was essential but the full amount of aid needed can only be delivered into Gaza by land.

“We continue to pressure Israel to fully open Ashdod Port as well as more land crossings,” he said.

Food supplies are airdropped by the UK Armed Forces in the northern Gaza Strip.
Pic: Cpl Tim Laurence RAF/MOD
Food supplies have been airdropped by the UK Armed Forces into northern Gaza since late March. Pic: Cpl Tim Laurence RAF/MOD

Despite Israel saying it reopened the key entry point of Kerem Shalom in southern Gaza on Wednesday, the UN said no aid has entered Gaza and there is no one to receive it on the Palestinian side because of ongoing fighting.

Once the temporary pier is built, it is expected to be able to facilitate the delivery of 90 truckloads of aid into Gaza and 150 when it is fully operational.

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The Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt has been closed since Israel’s military took control of the Palestinian side early on Tuesday as part of a wider offensive targeting Hamas in the southernmost parts of Gaza.

Aid officials said the flow of aid had been halted despite it being one of the main supply routes in the effort to prevent famine.

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Pic: Reuters
Israeli military operates in the Gazan side of the Rafah Crossing, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in the southern Gaza Strip, in this handout image released on May 7, 2024. Israel Defense Forces/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY
The Israeli military has taken over the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing. Pic: Reuters

The war in Gaza has driven around 80% of the territory’s population of 2.3 million people from their homes and caused vast destruction to buildings across several cities.

More than 34,900 people have now been killed in Gaza since the start of the conflict, according to the Hamas-run health ministry there.

The war began on 7 October when Hamas attacked southern Israel, killing about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and abducting about 250 others.

Israel says around 100 hostages and the remains of more than 30 others are still being held by militants.


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