update deskIsrael at War

Biden: US will begin air-dropping aid into Gaza

“We’re gonna insist that Israel facilitate more trucks and more routes to get more and more people the help they need,” Biden added. “No excuses.”

U.S. President Joe Biden in Tel Aviv, Oct. 18, 2023. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90.
U.S. President Joe Biden in Tel Aviv, Oct. 18, 2023. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90.

U.S. President Joe Biden announced on Friday that the United States will begin air-dropping staple items to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Speaking alongside Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni at a press briefing, Biden said “we need to do more” to help the Palestinians in the wake of an aid riot pn Thursday in which dozens of Gazans were killed.

The president twice referred to “Ukraine” when he meant “Gaza.”

“In the coming days, we’re gonna join with our friends in Jordan and others in providing air drops of additional food and supplies into Ukraine, and seek to continue to open up other avenues into Ukraine including the possibility of a marine corridor to deliver large amounts of humanitarian assistance,” Biden said.

Jordan has carried out sporadic airdrops of aid into Gaza for months. This week, it was joined by Egypt, France and the United Arab Emirates. Jordan has not been reported to have air-dropped supplies into Ukraine. 

Biden added in the press conference that he would press the Israeli government to allow the delivery of more aid.

“In addition to expanding deliveries by land, we’re gonna insist that Israel facilitate more trucks and more routes to get more and more people the help they need,” Biden said. “No excuses. Because the truth is, aid flowing to Gaza is nowhere nearly enough. Innocent lives are on the line and children’s lives are on the line and we won’t stand by until we get more aid in there.”

“We should be getting hundreds of trucks in, not just several,” Biden added. “I won’t stand by. We won’t let up, and we’re gonna pull out every stop we can to get more assistance in.”

Humanitarian aid
Trucks with aid arrive at the Palestinian side of the Kerem Shalom border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip on Feb. 17, 2024. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90.

Samantha Power, administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, a government agency, said on Monday that the Biden administration wants to see 500 aid trucks entering Gaza daily, up from the current number of about 85.

Biden also said on Friday that his administration continues to press for an “immediate” six-week ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in exchange for the release of hostages and to allow a “surge” of aid to the entire Gaza Strip.

The president added that he hopes to have more information about a possible deal “shortly,” after he walked back his expectations that there might be a deal by Monday.

Meloni said that “the humanitarian crisis is our No. 1 priority” and that the United States, Italy and “regional actors” should “guarantee the two-state perspective” to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Neither leader took questions from the press.

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