US dispatches three military planes to help Gaza

US dispatches three military planes to help Gaza

The United States has been sending three military planes to Egypt since Tuesday to bring vital humanitarian aid to Gaza amid a truce between Israel and Hamas, senior U.S. officials said.

The relief flight carrying food, medicine and winter gear is the first by U.S. forces since the conflict began with the Oct. 7 attack on Israel by Hamas.

The flights began a day after President Joe Biden said he would use the ceasefire extension to get more aid to Gaza, and international efforts continue to further extend the halt.

“We are very pleased to announce that the first of three relief flights facilitated by the unique capabilities of the U.S. military will arrive in North Sinai, Egypt,” a U.S. official said Tuesday.

“This will bring a range of goods to civilians, including medical supplies, food aid and winter supplies, in view of the approaching winter in Gaza,” the official said during the embargo on Monday. mentioned in.

The UN will then channel aid from Egypt’s North Sinai region, which borders the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, into the stricken Palestinian territory itself.

Two more planes are expected to arrive “in the coming days.”

Mediator Qatar announced on Monday that it was extending an initial four-day ceasefire by 48 hours, paving the way for the release of more hostages taken by Hamas during its attack on Israel.

– “Significant spike” –
U.S. officials said 800 aid trucks from Egypt arrived in southern Gaza in the first four days of the ceasefire, with some aid also reaching the hard-hit northern Gaza region.

“There has been so much movement of aid over the last four or five days that there is a need for backfilling, and these aircraft are part of that backfilling,” another U.S. official said.

The U.S. government has deployed two aircraft carriers in the region to deter Iran and its allies and has sent military aid to key ally Israel, but has so far used military assets to deliver humanitarian aid during the conflict. had never used it.

Biden, who has steadfastly supported Israel while calling for it to reduce civilian casualties, said on Monday that the ceasefire had allowed for a “huge surge” in aid.

But the White House announced Monday that Israel has made clear it will continue its war with Hamas even after the ceasefire ends.

Biden warned Israel not to trigger the same type of mass displacement in southern Gaza that prompted an attack in northern Gaza earlier this month, U.S. officials said.

“From the president on down, we have reinforced this in a very clear way against the Israeli government,” the first U.S. official said.

Hamas breached Gaza’s militarized border on October 7, carrying out the deadliest attack in Israel’s history. Israel says the attack killed 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and took about 240 hostages.

In response, Israel launched a relentless bombing and ground offensive in the Gaza Strip, which the Hamas government says has killed 15,000 people, including thousands of children.


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