update deskIsrael at War

Airdropped aid kills five Palestinians, Hamas says

Washington denied that any U.S. aircraft dropped supplies that killed civilians.

A U.S. Air Force airman prepares bundles of humanitarian aid, including more than 38,000 halal meals, destined for an airdrop over Gaza on March 7, 2024.  Credit: U.S. Air Force photo.
A U.S. Air Force airman prepares bundles of humanitarian aid, including more than 38,000 halal meals, destined for an airdrop over Gaza on March 7, 2024. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo.

Hamas-controlled Gazan health authorities claimed on Friday that five Palestinians were killed by falling humanitarian-aid packages during an airdrop in the northern Gaza Strip.

Unconfirmed videos on social media appear to show some of the aid pallets deployed from a C-17 falling at high speed, their parachutes apparently failing to deploy properly. 

One video also seems to show loose aid packets slamming into the ground and entire pallets crashing audibly around a group of buildings.
It’s not clear which country dropped the aid, but a United Arab Emirates C-17 was flying over Gaza on Friday, according to open source flight-tracking data. The UAE has previously joined airdrops over Gaza, though it has not issued any statements about delivering aid on Friday.

U.S. Central Command stated on Friday that it had airdropped a mix of Jordanian and American aid from a U.S. plane earlier in the day. A Department of Defense official told Politico if civilians were killed, it was not from aid dropped from a U.S. aircraft.

“Our pallets landed successfully, and we will have more to share soon,” the official said.

“U.S. Central Command and the Royal Jordanian Air Force conducted a combined humanitarian assistance airdrop into Northern Gaza on March 8, 2024, at approximately 1:30 p.m. (Gaza time) to provide essential relief to civilians in Gaza affected by the ongoing conflict,” CENTCOM wrote

“The combined, joint operation included Jordanian provided meals and a U.S. Air Force C-130 aircraft,” it added. “A U.S. C-130 dropped over 11,500 meal equivalents, providing life-saving humanitarian assistance in Northern Gaza, to enable civilian access to critical aid.”

“These airdrops are part of a sustained effort, and we continue to plan follow on aerial deliveries,” it added.

CENTCOM’s statement did not mention any civilian casualties, and a Pentagon spokesman told The New York Times that all of the bundles of aid had landed safely.

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