Middle East

US looking into possible airdrops of aid into Gaza, officials say

By Jennifer Hansler, CNN

CNN  —  The United States is looking into possible airdrops of aid into Gaza as the humanitarian crisis there deepens and assistance fails to reach the people in the war-torn strip, two US officials told CNN on Wednesday.

US officials have consistently said much more must be done in order for critically needed assistance to reach those in Gaza, where more than 2 million people are at “imminent risk” of famine, according to the United Nations.

One US official said the prospect of airdrops is being seriously considered based on the conditions on the ground.

Earlier this week, Jordan, Egypt, the UAE, Qatar and France airdropped relief aid on various areas in the Gaza Strip in a sign of how desperate the situation has become. Axios first reported that the US is exploring the move.

Top US officials have called on Israel to open additional crossings to allow aid to enter Gaza as the flow of trucks into the enclave trickled down to less than 100 per day last week, according to US Agency for International Development Administrator Samantha Power.

“It is absolutely clear, that as conditions continue to deteriorate in Gaza, for the Gazan people, two crossings is not enough,” Power said Wednesday in a video message from the Kerem Shalom crossing.

“We are talking to Israeli officials about the need to open up far more crossings, far more passages into Gaza, so that vitally needed humanitarian assistance can be dramatically surged,” Power said. “This is a matter of life and death.”

Power met on Wednesday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, one of the US officials told CNN.

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