Five Allegedly Killed in Air Drop Mishap in Gaza

Sébastien Gray
Sébastien Gray
Sébastien is a published journalist and historicist with over six years of experience in freelance journalism and research. His primary expertise is in African conflict and politics, with additional specialization in Israeli/Palestinian and Armenia/Azerbaijan conflicts. Sébastien serves as the deputy desk chief for Africa.

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What Happened

According to claims from Gazan health officials, five people were killed earlier today when an aid package being airdropped over Gaza faced complications while dropping, with the parachute seemingly failing to deploy. The main package quickly fell to the ground, and debris from the package scattered around, impacting several locations.

The incident, but not seemingly the reported fatalities, was caught on video by a journalist within Gaza. The airdrop took place over al-Shati, which is north of Gaza city.

The air drop took place from a C-17 Cargo plane, however it is presently unclear who exactly the plane belonged to. There are a number of nations, the US, France, Jordan, Egypt, the Netherlands, and Belgium which have been carrying out air drops over the past number of days, primarily into Gaza’s north where reports of famine are becoming more and more common.

Jordanian state TV has denied the involvement of any Jordanian aircraft in the incident. Similarly, the US has stated that in its review of the incident, it believes a US aircraft was not involved.

Highlights a Problem

The mishap is likely to embolden organizations which have cautioned against the use of air drops, with a number of organizations calling for increased land deliveries rather than the air drops, which they say should only be a last resort.

The air drops are one of several ways which foreign nations are experimenting with different ways to facilitate aid delivery into Gaza. The US yesterday announced they would be constructing a seaport on the Gazan coastline in order to increase aid deliveries by sea. This is in addition to the EU, UK, and US’ opening of a sea route to Gaza in order to increase aid deliveries.

Aid delivery to Gaza in February was half of that in January, and many nations have began accusing Israel of impeding the access of humanitarian aid to Gaza. Many international observers in visits to the Egyptian border have stated that there are hundreds upon hundreds of trucks waiting at the border to cross into Gaza, but are stuck awaiting both a series of security checks by Israel, as well as allowance and coordination with Israel for delivery.

Israel, in turn, has accused aid groups of simply failing to properly distribute aid, as well as has accused Hamas of looting shipments. The security checks, Israel claims, are largely to insure no military aid is snuck in amidst humanitarian aid.