Air-Dropped Aid Crushes 5 Palestinians to Death in Gaza

Witnesses and officials say a parachute failed to deploy and landed on several people, including children

The parachutes of air-dropped pallets of aid failed, causing the large objects to plummet to the ground in northern Gaza, killing five. The US and several other countries have dropped a token amount of aid onto northern Gaza because Israel is only allowing a trickle of aid to enter the Strip by land.

A witness speaking with Al-Jazeera explained the botched aid drop caused a building to collapse, killing some of the people sheltering inside. “People were waiting for the drops when they noticed they were coming in fast. So a group of people took cover in a construction site,” he said. “One of the packages fell atop the site, causing it to collapse, killing and wounding people inside. I rushed to help the people inside when I realized my cousin was among them. He is now dead.”

Palestinian health officials and an eye witness who spoke with CBS News said that the aid crate killed five people, including two children, on Friday morning in northern Gaza . Multiple videos have also shown pallets of aid that have fallen into the Mediterranean Sea floating on the surface where some appear to tangle and plummet down.

Aid groups have criticized the air-dropped aid into Gaza as insufficient. The head of the Norwegian Refugee Council humanitarian group, Jan Egeland, explained earlier this week that “Airdrops are expensive, haphazard, and usually lead to the wrong people getting the aid.”

Gaza-based Journalist Abdel Qader Al Sabbah told CNN that the air drops of aid are “useless” and are causing more chaos. “You are lucky if you even get a hold of these meals… I don’t even bother to go searching for these aid parcels because people are always fighting over them,” he said.

Palestinians say they want Biden to stop sending Israel bombs, not aid. Hassan Maslah, a Palestinian in Khan Younis, described his feelings as he dug through the rubble caused by an Israeli air strike. “All these American weapons are killing our kids, and killing us wherever we go. We don’t need aid from them, we need them to stop the killing, stop the death,” he said.

A Palestinian discussing the shipments on social media lamented that the nutrition information and instructions were in English without an Arabic translation.

It is unclear what country is responsible for the botched aid drop. The US, Jordan, Egypt, France, the Netherlands, and Belgium have coordinated with Israel to drop aid onto the Strip. In addition to the deadly aid drop on Friday morning, some aid shipments have floated far into the Mediterranean Sea, and others have landed in areas controlled by the Israeli military.

Rafah-based journalist Hani Mahmoud explained there was a growing sense in Gaza that even aid is becoming deadly. “This is the tragedy people are experiencing in the north of Gaza.” He continued, “Not only are they confronted with the lack of food and medical supplies, but as they wait for packages of food they are either targeted by the Israeli military or killed by a non-functional parachute.”

Last week, the Israeli military opened fire on Palestinians near an aid shipment. Over 100 Palestinians were killed and about 700 injured.

After October 7, the Israeli Defense Yoav Gallant ordered a complete siege of the Strip. “I have ordered a complete siege on the Gaza Strip. There will be no electricity, no food, no fuel, everything is closed,” he stated.

President Joe Biden has claimed that he has used America leverage over Israel to get Tel Aviv to allow more aid into the Strip. However, over the past five months, Tel Aviv has reduced aid shipments to Gaza from 500 to under 100 trucks entering the Strip each day.

As the Israeli military operations have decimated Gaza and killed over 30,000 people, an increasing number of 2.3 million Palestinians in the Strip have become dependent on international aid to survive.

A report released by Refugees International on Thursday described the situation in Gaza as “apocalyptic.” “Our research makes clear that conditions inside of Gaza are apocalyptic,” the report said. “After five months of war, Palestinians are struggling to find adequate food, water, shelter, and basic medicine. Famine-level hunger is already widespread and worsening.”

At least 20 people in Gaza have starved to death because of the Israeli blockade of aid. Still, President Biden has refused to use Washington’s significant leverage over Tel Aviv to allow more aid into the Strip.

Kyle Anzalone is the opinion editor of, news editor of the Libertarian Institute, and co-host of Conflicts of Interest.