Jordan says air force has dropped aid into Gaza

It was 'very specific delivery' to a hospital run by the kingdom's military, diplomat says

Jordan's air force drops medical aid into Gaza

Jordan's air force drops medical aid into Gaza
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Jordan's air force has dropped medical supplies by parachute into north Gaza for a hospital run by the kingdom's military, Jordanian officials said on Monday.

The announcement, made by King Abdullah on X, comes after he repeatedly called for the international community to put pressure on Israel to allow uninterrupted aid into Gaza. Other Arab countries have also made delivering aid to the enclave a priority.

“Our fearless air force personnel airdropped at midnight urgent medical aid to the Jordanian field hospital in Gaza,” King Abdullah said.

“We will always be there for our Palestinian brethren.”

A European diplomat cautioned against expecting air drops to compensate for the lack of supplies in Gaza in any significant way.

Israel has restricted deliveries to the area in its drive to “eliminate Hamas”, the militant group that controls the enclave.

Hamas killed about 1,400 people in its October 7 attack on Israel, leading to retaliatory strikes from Israel.

The diplomat said Israel had allowed the Jordanian plane to fly over an area in north Gaza from where it wants Palestinian civilians to leave, to “maintain functioning ties” with Amman.

“This seems to have been a very specific aid delivery,” the diplomat said.

Israeli authorities have repeatedly called on Palestinian civilians to move to the southern part of Gaza, away from the focus of its operation. However, the army has attacked many Palestinians attempting to leave to the south.

The king uploaded an image on to the social media platform that showed a forklift loading a crate bearing a Jordanian flag on to a transport plane.

“Complicated logistical arrangements” were made for the aid to reach the hospital, government spokesman Muhannad Al Mubaideen said.

He said “tonnes of urgent medical supplies and medicine” were parachuted into Gaza for the hospital.

The Jordanian army have since 2009 operated a 40-bed hospital on the edge of Gaza city.

A Hercules C-130 transport plane delivered the supplies after obtaining permission from Israel and Egypt, a Jordanian source said.

The Israeli bombardment of Gaza had reportedly forced the hospital to cease operations.

But Jordanian Prime Minister Bisher Al Khasawneh said last month that the hospital “will remain and will continue to provide its services”.

Jordan has in recent days condemned what it said was Israeli intransigence in Gaza. The two countries signed a peace treaty in 1994 and a large proportion of the kingdom's population are of Palestinian origin.

Foreign Minister Ayman Al Safadi told the BBC on Sunday that Jordan rejected Israeli attempts to tie a ceasefire in Gaza to the release of Israeli hostages taken by Hamas militants on October 7.

Hamas, which is backed by Iran, abducted about 240 people in its attack on southern Israel.

On Friday, UN aid official Martin Griffiths said that the regular flow of 500 lorries carrying aid entering Gaza per day has dropped by about one-fifth over the last week.

More than 9,700 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli retaliatory strikes and a ground incursion, Gaza's Health Ministry said.

During a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Saturday, King Abdullah called for “a humanitarian truce to ensure the sustainable delivery of aid to the strip, and the unimpeded work of international humanitarian agencies”, the palace said.

UAE President Sheikh Mohamed has ordered the Ministry of Defence to start the Gallant Knight 3 humanitarian operation to support civilians in Gaza, state news agency Wam reported.

The aim is to “provide humanitarian support to Palestinian people impacted by the current conflict”, it said.

Updated: November 06, 2023, 12:26 PM