After five months of war, Egypt airdrops humanitarian aid into Gaza

After five months of war, Egypt airdrops humanitarian aid into Gaza
A high-level Egyptian military official said to TNA that "Egyptian aircrafts have been dropping tons of urgent aid supplies" to central and south Gaza.
3 min read
Egypt - Cairo
27 February, 2024
Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, including children and infants, have been on the verge of famine amid restrictions on aid deliveries. [Getty]

The Egyptian Air Force airdropped humanitarian aid supplies across the Gaza Strip on Tuesday for the first time since the Israeli onslaught on the besieged coastal enclave in October last year.

A high-level Egyptian military official told The New Arab that "Egyptian aircrafts have been dropping tons of urgent aid supplies, mainly food and medicine, into towns in Khan Younis, Gaza's largest city in the south, as well as central Gaza."

"The process of dropping aid, undertaken cooperatively with the UAE and Jordan, will remain in place for the coming hours," the source said, on condition of anonymity for not being authorised to speak to the media.

Human rights groups and international agencies have warned that hundreds of thousands of distressed Palestinians, including children and infants, are on the verge of famine amid restrictions on aid deliveries.  

While Egypt has received aid from various countries to deliver to Palestinians trapped in Gaza, it has also been repeatedly criticised for the limited entry of aid. For its part, Egyptian authorities blame Israel for blocking the aid's entry into the Palestinian side of the border. 

The airdrops by Egypt's Air Force came a day after several human rights groups accused Israel of blocking aid deliveries to Gaza in violation of a verdict issued last month by the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

"The Israeli government has failed to comply with at least one measure in the legally binding order from the…ICJ in South Africa's genocide case," Human Rights Watch said in a statement on Monday.

"Citing warnings about 'catastrophic conditions' in Gaza, the court ordered Israel on 26 January 2024, to 'take immediate and effective measures to enable the provision of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian aid,' and 'to report back on its compliance to the specific measures ‘within one month,'" the statement added, accusing Israel of starving Palestinians.

During a recent session at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the question of genocide in Gaza, Israel claimed Egypt was preventing the entry of humanitarian and relief aid into the Gaza Strip. Egypt has frequently denied these claims, pointing fingers at the Israeli government for attacking the crossing and making entry unsafe. 

Tuesday's airdrops were preceded by similar acts carried out by Jordan and France. 

Reports have increasingly emerged of children dying from hunger, particular in Gaza's north, most notably a two-month-old baby who died hours after he was taken to hospital for being malnourished.

On Sunday, 25 February, aerial and satellite footage showed more than 2,000 aid trucks reportedly stacked on the Egyptian side of the southern Palestinian city of Rafah.

Last week, the World Food Program declared it was obligated to suspend life-saving food aid to northern Gaza for Israel "until conditions are in place that allow safe distributions."

Israel's war on Gaza has killed over 30,000 Palestinians, while more than 70.000 injured have been injured, according to official figures.