Hamas demands end to ‘ineffective’ aid airdrops over Gaza after two killed by parachute malfunction

Humanitarian aid packages are dropped on the Gaza Strip on May 9, 2024. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)
Humanitarian aid packages are dropped on the Gaza Strip on May 9, 2024. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)

Hamas calls for an end to airdrops of aid over Gaza after two Palestinians were killed in northern Gaza earlier this week when an aid pallet crashed into a warehouse after its parachute failed to open.

Several countries, including the United States, Britain and France, have resorted to regular aid airdrops in northern Gaza, where humanitarian agencies have warned of a looming famine.

On Tuesday, two people died when an aid parachute fell on the roof of a warehouse where residents had gathered to collect relief supplies.

“We reiterate that airdrops pose a real danger to the lives of citizens and do not provide a real solution to alleviate the food crisis plaguing northern Gaza,” Salama Marouf, the head of the Hamas media office in Gaza, says in a statement.

“We call for an immediate halt to the delivery of aid in this ineffective and erroneous manner, and we call for the full activation of the land crossings to deliver humanitarian aid to northern Gaza.”

Hamas has long been accused of seizing humanitarian aid that enters Gaza by land. Earlier this month, the US State Department said the terror group briefly seized the first shipment to enter Gaza through the Erez Crossing since the October 7 terror assault. The accusation followed Israel’s long-standing contention that Hamas stockpiles supplies and keeps them from increasingly desperate civilians.

The Kerem Shalom Crossing, which has been used to bring humanitarian aid into southern Gaza, was closed for several days earlier this week after a deadly Hamas rocket attack killed four and wounded 10.

The Rafah Crossing from Egypt to Gaza has remained closed, however, as Israeli forces operate in the area.

The crossing has been a vital conduit for entry of food, medicine and other humanitarian supplies for Gaza’s population of 2.3 million since the start of the war and is the only place where people can enter and exit, while Kerem Shalom is Gaza’s main cargo terminal.

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