Aid Groups Slam US for Dropping Aid Into Gaza Instead of Pressuring Israel

At least 15 children have starved to death in Gaza over past the few days

Aid groups and officials are criticizing the US for dropping humanitarian assistance into Gaza by airplane instead of pressuring Israel to allow more aid trucks to enter the Strip, where the entire population is facing “crisis” levels of food insecurity.

On Saturday, US Central Command announced that it conducted a “combined humanitarian assistance airdrop into Gaza” with the Royal Jordanian Air Force. The command said US C-130 military transport planes dropped 38,000 meals on Gaza, which is populated by about 2.2 million people.

The international charity Oxfam said the airdrops “mostly serve to relieve the guilty consciences of senior US officials whose policies are contributing to the ongoing atrocities and risk of famine in Gaza” and called for the US to end military aid to Israel.

“While Palestinians in Gaza have been pushed to the absolute brink, dropping a paltry, symbolic amount of aid into Gaza with no plan for its safe distribution would not help and be deeply degrading to Palestinians,” said Scott Paul, who leads Oxfam’s US government advocacy.

“Instead of indiscriminate airdrops in Gaza, the US should cut the flow of weapons to Israel that are used in indiscriminate attacks, push for an immediate ceasefire and the release of hostages, and insist that Israel uphold its duty to provide humanitarian aid, access, and other basic services,” Paul added.

Dave Harden, a former USAID official, said the airdrops show the US government is weak for not putting more pressure on Israel. “The airdrops are symbolic and designed in ways to appease the domestic base,” Harden told Al Jazeera. “Really what needs to happen is more crossings [opening] and more trucks going in every day … I think the United States is weak and that’s really disappointing to me.”

US officials have acknowledged to Axios that the airdrops only have a limited impact since a US military plane could only drop the equivalent of the amount of aid one or two aid trucks can carry.

The UN has warned that at least 576,000 Palestinians in Gaza are “facing catastrophic levels of deprivation and starvation,” and a massive famine is expected if the situation on the ground doesn’t significantly change. At least 15 Palestinian children have starved to death in Gaza over the past few days.

The US airdrops came after at least 112 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces, who opened fire on civilians waiting for aid trucks in northern Gaza, an incident known as the “flour massacre.” A similar incident took place on Sunday,

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.