The Jordanian Air Force airdropped medical aid to Gaza, the country’s ruler announced early Monday, bypassing a growing logjam of aid deliveries to the Palestinian territory via its border crossing with Egypt as international bodies continued to raise alarm about the deteriorating humanitarian conditions in the area.
The airdrop contained “urgent medical aid” meant for a Jordanian field hospital in Gaza, the Hashemite Kingdom’s ruler, King Abdullah II, tweeted.
Abdullah’s post, which hailed his country’s “fearless air force personnel”, appeared to imply initially that they had circumvented Israel’s blockade of Gaza and its close inspection of all aid entering the territory.
The Israeli military later confirmed it had “coordinated” with Jordan on the drop and said the aid “will be used by the medical staff for patients,” and also included food.
Pictures released by the Jordanian government showed a single crate attached with parachutes being loaded onto a cargo plane.
Abdullah, a key U.S. ally in the region, met with Secretary of State Antony Blinken over the weekend and reiterated his calls for a ceasefire in the war between Israel and Hamas.
The airdrop comes as Egyptian officials blamed Israel for creating logistical barriers that slow down the shipment of aid into Gaza through the Rafah border crossing on Sunday. A similar complaint was made last week, as Cairo said Israel’s truck inspection procedures prevent the quick flow of aid into the Palestinian enclave. Israeli officials closely inspect all humanitarian aid entering Gaza through Rafah. This is due to Israel’s concerns about the presence of weapons or defensive equipment for Hamas in the aid packages.
The leaders of several key global bodies, including 11 UN agencies, issued a joint statement on Sunday calling for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” in the conflict. The statement notes that 88 workers from the United Nations Relief and Work Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) have been killed so far, which is the “highest number of United Nations fatalities ever recorded in a single conflict.” The joint letter demands the immediate and unconditional release of all civilians held hostage by Hamas, and swift delivery of food, water, medicine and fuel into Gaza. “It’s been 30 days. Enough is enough. This must stop now,” the statement adds.
10,900. That is the total number of people killed in the conflict so far, according to the joint statement, including 9,500 Gazans and 1,400 Israelis. The statement notes that the death toll in Gaza includes 3,900 children.