Biden confirms plans to airdrop aid into Gaza after stampede kills over 100


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President Biden confirmed plans on Friday to airdrop aid supplies into Gaza in the coming days after a stampede towards aid trucks killed over 100 Palestinians this week.

Biden said the first of the airdrops will land within days, and other administration officials say it is likely to contain military MREs, or meals ready-to-eat. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby says the drop will be part of a “sustained effort” by the U.S.

“We need to do more and the United States will do more,” Biden told reporters on Friday. “Aid flowing to Gaza is nowhere nearly enough.”

The U.S. is also considering the delivery of aid by U.S. navy vessels in the Mediterranean Sea along the coast of Gaza.

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Joe Biden waving

President Biden confirmed plans on Friday to airdrop aid supplies into Gaza in the coming days after a stampede toward aid trucks killed over 100 Palestinians this week. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

President Biden confirmed plans on Friday to airdrop aid supplies into Gaza in the coming days after a stampede toward aid trucks killed over 100 Palestinians this week.

The airdrop campaign comes after more than 100 people were reported dead and hundreds more wounded when Palestinians rushing toward trucks loaded with humanitarian aid encountered fire in Gaza City early Thursday, according to local media reports.

The exact circumstances surrounding the deaths remain unclear; while several reports suggested Israeli troops fired on the crowd as they descended upon the trucks, the Israeli military suggested that most who died were trampled.

Ashraf al-Qidra, a spokesman for the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry, said at least 104 people were killed and around 760 were wounded, describing the incident as a “massacre.

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White House spokesman John Kirby

National Security Council (NSC) spokesman John Kirby confirmed that the US airdrops will be a “sustained effort” by the Biden administration.  (MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Israel has contested that description, however, saying the vast majority of those killed in the incident were trampled in the rush toward aid.

“Early this morning, during the entry of humanitarian aid trucks into the northern Gaza Strip, Gazan residents surrounded the trucks, and looted the supplies being delivered,” Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement. “During the incident, dozens of Gazans were injured as a result of pushing and trampling. The incident is under review.”

The IDF suggested that fewer than 10 civilians were injured by Israeli forces opening fire during the delivery of humanitarian aid.

People fleeing shooting in Gaza

Dozens of Palestinians were killed and at least 280 were wounded when they were fired upon during a humanitarian aid delivery in Gaza City early Thursday. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Essa, File)

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Hamas says it holds Israel and Biden’s administration “fully responsible” for the incident and for the “ethnic cleansing” of its people. The group called for worldwide demonstrations against Israel’s bombardment of Gaza. 

“We have mercy on the souls of our people’s martyrs, and we affirm that their sacrifices and blood will not be in vain and that we will remain loyal to our cause, our land, and our sanctities,” the group posted to Telegram.

Fox News’ Michael Dorgan and Reuters contributed to this report.



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