Citing ‘desperate’ situation, UK and Jordan airdrop supplies to north Gaza hospital

British FM says delivery will allow Tal Al-Hawa Hospital ‘to continue its life-saving work,’ urges ‘immediate humanitarian pause’ to allow more aid into Strip, return of hostages

UK-funded humanitarian aid for a hospital in Gaza air-dropped by the Jordanian Air Force, 21 February 2024. (UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
UK-funded humanitarian aid for a hospital in Gaza air-dropped by the Jordanian Air Force, 21 February 2024. (UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

Britain and Jordan have airdropped four tons of aid, including medicines, fuel, and food, to Tal Al-Hawa Hospital in the northern Gaza Strip, Britain’s Foreign Office said on Wednesday.

The UK-funded aid was delivered by the Jordanian Air Force.

“Thousands of patients will benefit and the fuel will enable this vital hospital to continue its life-saving work,” British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said in a statement.

“However, the situation in Gaza is desperate and significantly more aid is needed, and fast. We are calling for an immediate humanitarian pause to allow additional aid into Gaza as quickly as possible and bring hostages home.”

United Nations agencies and aid groups say the ongoing war, the Israeli military’s refusal to facilitate deliveries, and the breakdown of order inside Hamas-run Gaza make it increasingly difficult to bring vital aid to much of the coastal enclave.

The World Food Program said Tuesday it was forced to halt aid deliveries in north Gaza because of “complete chaos and violence” after a truck convoy encountered gunfire and was ransacked by looters.

File: Palestinian crowds struggle to buy bread from a bakery in Rafah, Gaza Strip, February 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Fatima Shbair)

Footage from Gaza in recent weeks has shown scenes of chaotic desperation with hundreds of people surrounding trucks and emptying them. Some Palestinians say they have resorted to making bread out of animal fodder. New mothers say baby formula is hard to come by or unaffordable.

The UN has called on Israel to open more crossings, including in the north, and to improve the coordination process.

Israel denies it is restricting the entry of aid and has shifted the blame to humanitarian organizations operating inside Gaza, saying hundreds of trucks filled with aid sit idle on the Palestinian side of the main crossing. The UN says it can’t always reach the trucks at the crossing because it is at times too dangerous.

Jordan has conducted around a dozen airdrops, with at least two conducted with the French and Dutch air forces, to deliver medical aid.

Last week, Jordan’s King Abdullah personally participated in an airdrop. A video released by state-owned Al Mamlaka showed the monarch in military gear on board a plane in the latest mission by the Jordanian Air Force to drop urgent medical supplies to field hospitals it runs in the enclave.

File: A man walks past a truck carrying humanitarian aid from the UK that entered Gaza by truck through the Kerem Shalom on February 17, 2024, in Rafah on the southern Gaza Strip, amid the ongoing war between Israel and the Palestinian terror group Hamas. (Said Khatib/AFP)

The war between Israel and Hamas began on October 7 when thousands of Hamas-led terrorists broke through the border into southern Israel and launched a shock terror assault in which they massacred some 1,200 people — most of them civilians slaughtered amid brutal atrocities including executions, burning of bodies and rapes — and seized 253 hostages, of whom they still hold 130, not all of them alive.

In response, Israel launched an aerial campaign and ground invasion, vowing to eradicate Hamas and end the terror group’s 16-year rule of the Gaza Strip.

The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry has said that more than 29,000 people have been killed since the start of the war, although these figures cannot be independently verified and are believed to include both civilians and Hamas members killed in Gaza, including as a consequence of terror groups’ own rocket misfires.

The IDF says it has killed over 12,000 Hamas operatives in Gaza, in addition to some 1,000 terrorists inside Israel on October 7.

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