June 16, 2024 5:24 am

Israel-Gaza: UK aid supplies air-dropped into Gaza for first time

The UK has air-dropped aid into Gaza for the first time since war broke out after striking a deal with Jordan.

Four tonnes of supplies including medicines, food and fuel were delivered into the strip on a Jordanian Air Force plane on Wednesday.

Packages fitted with parachutes floated down to the Tal Al-Hawa Hospital in northern Gaza.

UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron said the aid would save lives and keep the hospital running.

The UK has until now only sent aid to Gaza by land and sea, but northern Gaza – a wasteland after nearly five months of war – is impossible to reach.

The World Food Programme has suspended deliveries there because its convoys had endured “complete chaos and violence”, the organisation said.

There is a heavy Israeli military presence in the area and much of the population were forced south.

However, an estimated 300,000 Palestinians remain in northern Gaza with little food or water and the UN has warned for months of a looming famine there.

The British Jordanian delivery contained diesel, critical medical equipment and ration packs for patients and medical staff.

As the last pallet sailed into the night sky, the Jordanian air crew saluted. It landed right on target, they said.

Banking sharply over the Mediterranean sea in two passes, the Royal Jordanian Air Force Hercules aircraft dropped the four tonnes of British aid directly into northern Gaza, just after sunset.

The pallets – fitted with parachutes and GPS trackers to ensure they reached the hospital – were bound for an area just to the north of a Jordanian army field hospital in Gaza City.

The UK Foreign Office said it signed an agreement with Jordan earlier this week which will see £1m ($1.2m) worth of UK aid sent to Gaza.

Commenting on the deal, UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron said: “Thousands of patients will benefit and the fuel will enable this vital hospital to continue its life saving work.

“However, the situation in Gaza is desperate and significantly more aid is needed – and fast. We are calling for an immediate humanitarian pause to allow additional aid into Gaza as quickly as possible and bring hostages home.”

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