Netherlands will airdrop humanitarian aid in Gaza “if the opportunity arises” – NL Times

Netherlands will airdrop humanitarian aid in Gaza “if the opportunity arises” – NL Times

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Friday, 26 January 2024 – 20:25

The Dutch Cabinet announced on Friday that it was considering using the military to airdrop humanitarian aid in the Gaza Strip. Three Cabinet ministers co-signed a letter sent to the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, stating that they were still weighing their options.

The ministers said on Friday that “the government is investigating the possibility of a military contribution to the delivery of humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza by air. The Defense Ministry intends to carry out an airdrop if the opportunity arises.” Details about such an airdrop will only be released after it happens for security reasons.

“The government is very concerned about the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza. Humanitarian needs are only increasing due to the enormous scarcity of essential items such as water, food and medical supplies,” wrote Minister of Foreign Affairs Hanke Bruins Slot, Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren, and Geoffrey van Leeuwen, the minister in charge of foreign trade and development cooperation.

Earlier in the day, the International Court of Justice ruled that the Israeli government to take “immediate and drastic measures” to improving the situation in Gaza, which includes expanding relief efforts. More than 26,000 people have been killed there, according to the Hamas-led Health Ministry there. Another 64,0000 have been injured, and 1.7 million people have been displaced since the Hamas attacks on Israel in October. That incident caused the deaths of over 1,100 people in Israel, and more than 200 people were taken hostage.

The Dutch government is already pressing for more access to deliver relief by land. “In addition, options for providing support via the air or a maritime corridor are also being continuously monitored and investigated with partners, in accordance with the Dobbe et al. motion,” the ministers said. “Israel’s full cooperation is an important condition in this regard.”

The Cabinet members were referring to a motion adopted by the Tweede Kamer last week which pointed out that the countries of France and Jordan have airdropped aid to Gaza. The motion “calls on the government to follow the French and Jordanian example and deliver aid to the people of Gaza via airdrops or ships as long as this is not possible by land, and to continue this” for as long as necessary.

The motion passed by a vote of 102 to 47. Only the PVV, BBB, and SGP voted against the measure, while Ja21 abstained. The motion was submitted by SP MP Sarah Dobbe, and was joined by Volt MP Laurens Dassen, Denk MP Stephan van Baarle, Kati Piri from GroenLinks-PvdA and Christine Teunissen from PvdD.

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