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Saudi Arabia and Jordan airdrop food aid to the Gaza Strip

Saudi Arabia and Jordan airdropped 30 tonnes of ready-to-eat food for besieged Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, the Saudi aid agency KSrelief said on Sunday.

In a statement carried by the SPA, the agency said the airdrop was carried out with the Jordanian Hashemite Charity Organization and the Jordanian Hashemite Armed Forces.

The food supplies dropped by air are suitable for immediate consumption without the need for heating, Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabeeah, KSrelief director general, said in the statement.

KSrelief and other aid agencies have resorted to parachute drops of food aid to Gaza to bypass the closure of border crossings by the Israeli occupation forces, which had previously prevented the entry of humanitarian aid to people in the Strip.

Al-Rabeeah called for the opening of border crossings, noting that delivery through airdrops were not sustainable considering the high number of people in need of humanitarian assistance.

He said KSrelief’s campaign for Palestinians to date has collected more than $184 million. The Kingdom also operated an air bridge consisting of 54 planes and a sea bridge consisting of eight ships is still operating.

The US military also built a temporary sea port in Gaza for the delivery of humanitarian aid, but that had been rendered unstable by stormy seas.

More than 2 million Palestinians have been displaced in Gaza since Israel launched a full-scale war in response to the Oct. 7, 2023, attack by Hamas militants that killed 1,200 people and in which about 250 hostages were taken, according to official Israeli figures.

The conflict has claimed the lives of more than 38,000 Palestinians, according to the latest count of Gaza health officials.

Extensive damage to Gaza’s infrastructure has caused a healthcare crisis, with an increase in communicable diseases, especially among children, and brought the entire education system in Gaza to a standstill, according to the UN.