Updated March 2nd, 2024 at 09:30 IST

Biden Says US Military will Airdrop Aid to Gaza but Critics Call the Initiative 'Inadequate'

After 112 people lost their lives while collecting aid in Gaza, US President Joe Biden announced on Friday that the US will airdrop humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Reported by: Bhagyasree Sengupta
US President Joe Biden speaks to the members of American media | Image:AP
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Washington DC – After 112 Palestinians lost their lives while collecting aid in Northern Gaza, US President Joe Biden announced on Friday that the United States will airdrop humanitarian aid to Gaza. The announcement came hours after the United Nations warned of imminent famine amid the Israel-Hamas war. However, many believe that the use of airdrop will be a “spectacular” but “inefficient” way of delivering aid to the Gazans who are struggling amid the ongoing crisis. While announcing the initiative Biden went on to assure that the United States would put pressure on Israel to facilitate more truck deliveries of humanitarian aid. 

“We need to do more, and the United States will do more,” Biden told reporters at the White House while conducting a meeting with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, CBS News reported. “Aid flowing to Gaza is nowhere near enough. Now, it’s nowhere near enough. Innocent lives are on the line and children’s lives are on the line. We won’t stand by until we get more aid in there. We should be getting hundreds of trucks in, not just several," he added. A number of countries have condemned Israel over the incident, however, Tel Aviv has vehemently denied its involvement. Shortly after Biden's proclamation, the White House said that the airdrop will take place “in the coming days”. 

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Does airdrop aid work in conflict situations?

It is important to note that the Jordanian and the French Airforces have already made such drops in the past. The process turned out to be an expensive and uncontrolled way of distributing food in a region which is suffering from a war. However, access to food trucks in Gaza has been limited and far below expectations and requirements. A major testament to this assertion is the fact that hundreds of aid trucks are still stuck at the Gaza border and are unable to proceed properly because of “security concerns”. According to The Guardian, Biden and his administration have been trying unsuccessfully for months to persuade the Benjamin Netanyahu government in Israel to allow aid delivery into Gaza.  

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Meanwhile, many said that Biden's initiative and its inevitable effectiveness will turn out to be humiliating for the United States. “If the US government disavows the use of any meaningful leverage to bring the Gaza conflict to a close, it is left with desperate and inadequate measures like this to try to address the resulting humanitarian catastrophe around the margins,”  Brian Finucane, a former state department lawyer now working at the International Crisis Group, wrote on X, formally known as Twitter. Meanwhile, Robert Ford, a former US ambassador to Algeria and Syria called it “Israel’s worst humiliation of USA". “I've seen Israel humiliate previous US administrations, but aside from murderous 1967 Israeli airstrike against US navy ship Liberty, now forcing USA to do airdrops of aid to Gaza as if USA is no better than Egypt & Jordan is Israel's worst humiliation of USA I've ever seen,” Ford wrote on X. 

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Published March 2nd, 2024 at 09:28 IST