Airdropped aid kills at least 5 people in Gaza

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Air aid packages were dropped over the northern Gaza Strip on Friday.



CNN

At least five people were killed and 10 others were injured when air aid packages fell on them in the Beach camp, west of Gaza City, according to what a journalist at the scene reported.

Khader Al-Zaanoun told CNN that he witnessed aid packages falling from planes over Al-Shati camp on Friday, but he could not confirm which country was behind the airdrop.

Muhammad Al-Sheikh, head of the emergency department at Al-Shifa Medical Complex in Gaza City, confirmed that five people were killed in the accident.

Al-Sheikh indicated that some of those injured in the accident, who were taken to Al-Shifa, are in serious condition.

In a video obtained by CNN on Friday, an airdrop went wrong when a parachute on a pallet malfunctioned. The pallet and its contents were seen falling at high speed towards a residential building near Fayrouz Towers, west of Gaza.

As the aid quickly headed toward the ground, free-falling bags were also seen disintegrating in a shower of debris, and were later seen and heard hitting the ground with a loud thud.

While most other parachutes appear to have deployed correctly, the platforms are still falling at a potentially dangerous speed, which could make it difficult for someone to get out of their way when they land on the ground.

In a separate incident on Thursday, footage obtained by CNN showed dozens of parachutes carrying packages descending from a plane conducting an airdrop.

The video was filmed in the Sudaniya area near the city of Beit Lahia in the north of the country. People could be heard screaming as the umbrellas approached the ground.

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The United States and other countries are airdropping humanitarian aid into Gaza amid warnings from the United Nations that hundreds of thousands in the besieged enclave are on the brink of famine.

The first US drop took place on Saturday, with 38,000 meals delivered along the Gaza coast in a joint operation with Jordan.

After US President Joe Biden announced the plans last Friday, relief agencies criticized them and described them as ineffective given the extent of the needs in Gaza.

“Humanitarian workers always complain that airdrops are good photo opportunities, but a poor way to deliver aid,” said Richard Gowan, UN director for the International Crisis Group.

A journalist based in northern Gaza told CNN that Palestinians in northern Gaza are struggling to benefit from aid recently dropped by the United States and Jordan, because it does not include basic food supplies.

Abdul Qader Al-Sabah told CNN that air aid drops are “useless,” calling for taking items that can be stored and used over several days instead of taking single portions a day.

“You are lucky if you even get these meals,” he said. “I don’t even bother looking for these aid packages because people are always fighting over them.”

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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