Middle East

Hamas calls on Western countries to end “offensive” aid airdrops into Gaza

From CNN’s Eyad Kourdi, Niamh Kennedy, Celine Alkhaldi

Hamas has called on Western countries to end airdrops of aid into Gaza, warning that the humanitarian delivery method is “offensive, wrong, inappropriate and useless.”

Earlier, CNN spoke to witnesses who said at least 12 people drowned off the northern coast of Gaza on Monday after swimming out to try to retrieve packages airdropped into the sea by an unknown country.

“We call for an end to the operations of landing aid in this offensive, wrong, inappropriate and useless manner,” the Hamas government said Tuesday.

Hamas has from the outset been critical of airdrops, describing them as “useless” and “not the best way to bring aid in.” On Tuesday, they called for further land crossings to be opened “immediately” to allow more substantial aid deliveries.

Israel has denied claims it is limiting aid into Gaza, telling CNN in a previous statement that the country “assists, encourages and facilitates” the entry of aid into the enclave. Despite Israel’s claims, the United Nations has repeatedly warned that Gaza is edging closer to famine, and said countries should pressure Israel to loosen its controls on aid entry.

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