Gaza media office: ‘Aid delivered by air does not achieve justice’

The Government Media Office in Gaza issued the following statement on Resistance News Network, March 3, 2024. 

The famine deepens in the Gaza Strip, and the airdrops of aid are useless. We hold the U.S. administration, the international community, and the “israeli” occupation responsible. The famine continues to deepen significantly in the governorates of the Gaza Strip, with 2,4 million people suffering from a severe lack of food. The famine is particularly severe in the governorates of North Gaza and Gaza. This disaster has already led to the martyrdom of 15 children due to hunger, malnutrition and dehydration, threatening the lives of more than 700,000 Palestinian citizens suffering from extreme hunger. 

Jordanian humanitarian airdrops into Gaza, March 2, 2024. Credit: King Abdullah/X

Some countries have attempted to airdrop aid through a few planes, but it is well known that this is not the optimal method to deliver aid to the people of the Gaza Strip. 

In this regard, we would like to affirm the following:

  1. We believe some countries that have conducted aerial aid drops have good intentions, while others, like the United States and others, have malicious and devious intentions as they actively participate in the war, supply the occupation with weapons and give it the green light to commit more massacres. 
  2. The practice of airdropping aid and ignoring the introduction of aid through land crossings is part of a circumventing strategy that avoids root solutions to the problem by following showy, propaganda and ineffective methods. This aligns with the occupation’s policy of enhancing the starvation policy, buying time for the occupation and extending the famine to inflict as much damage as possible on the people and citizens. 
  3. The air-dropping operations carry serious repercussions for the residents and people, posing a significant challenge, as part of this aid lands near the separation fence or in areas controlled by the occupation army or within the occupied Palestinian lands, thus endangering the lives of citizens trying to access the aid. 
  4. Air-dropping operations are extremely difficult in a crowded environment like the Gaza Strip, home to 2.4 million people. Aerially delivered aid is susceptible to damage due to weather conditions or serious accidents in the Gaza Strip. Some of the aid dropped has fallen into the sea and has not reached the people, while land transport of aid reaches citizens safely and is not subject to damage. 
  5. The aid delivered by air is minimal and limited, and the capacity of the planes is limited and does not meet the people’s needs at all. The aerially delivered aid does not cover anything, but is merely a drop in the ocean of massive needs, unlike land transport, which can deliver the largest possible quantity of aid safely to the people and citizens suffering from hunger. Additionally, aerial transport operations are significantly more expensive than much less costly land transport operations. 
  6. The aid delivered by air does not achieve justice at all, as this process requires 2.4 million people to go out into the streets and then run after the aid, which does not reach safe places, in a shameful, humiliating, inhumane and non-humanitarian manner. 
  7. The policy of closing land crossings to relief, supply and food aid convoys constitutes a war crime in violation of international law, international humanitarian law and all international conventions, which is what the occupation has done against our Palestinian people since the beginning of the genocide. 

In light of all this, we renew full responsibility to the U.S. administration, the international community and the “israeli” occupation for the genocide waged by the occupation against civilians, children and women. 

We also hold them responsible for the famine and the enhancement of the starvation policy and for 19 types of crimes against humanity committed by the occupation in the Gaza Strip. We call on all free countries of the world to pressure the occupation to stop the genocide and ethnic cleansing against our Palestinian people, which has claimed more than 100,000 victims, including martyrs, wounded and detainees and to immediately and unconditionally stop the bloodshed against civilians, women and children. 

This statement was lightly edited.

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