Jordan-propelled relief drops against all odds off Gaza Coast

Jordan

Published: 2024-02-28 18:40

Last Updated: 2024-04-23 20:43


Aid is dropped over Gaza (February 26, 2024) (Reuters/Ibrahim Abu Mustafa)
Aid is dropped over Gaza (February 26, 2024) (Reuters/Ibrahim Abu Mustafa)

Sarah Wilkinson, a British pro-Palestine activist, revealed several complexities, factors and limitations that shaped the urgently-needed air-borne relief operations spearheaded by Jordan over the Gaza Strip.

“The list of food items chosen for Gaza had to be very limited, and was constrained to only five or six items,” explained the influencer who took part in humanitarian airdrops over Gaza. They strictly include water, flour and vital life-saving nutrients for infants and women.

Misconceptions

Wilkinson also clarified misconceptions about aid falling into the sea, noting that some have incorrectly believed it to be a blunder in the operation.

She explained that the operators had to strategically drop the “sealed water-proof” relief packages off the Gaza coastline toward a “cushioned landing (..) to avoid damage if the boxes drop unto the ground.”

It was a valuable option, “as it saves space by not having to put an inflatable cushion inside the aid boxes to protect it against damage when landing on the ground,” the activist added. This measure maximizes the amount of food put in the boxes.

Wilkinson, who took part in the massive and delicate relief operation, explains how the donor countries are restricted to a limited list of items, as they race against time to salvage the famine-threatened lives of 2.3 million Gazans.

Lifeline

“Clean water is the first item; to help with starvation. As in cases with food deprivation, famished Palestinians can rely on clean water to survive for a few more weeks without food,” she said in a voice note received Wednesday by Roya.

Second on the list is baby formula - chosen for its vast amounts of nutrients and vitamins in addition to flour as the third item. Dried fruits are also permitted such as “pitted” apricots and dates which were chosen due to concerns about cases of Scurvy (severe lack of vitamin C) among Gazans.

A Jordanian Minister recommended a fifth item, “ready-made meals or ready-made bread,” added Wilkinson, noting that “cooking oil and fuel are banned from entry into the Strip.”

She stressed that ready-made meals in sealed containers can be of great use to Gazans, as the holy month of Ramdan is approaching and the meals can be stored in their containers until then.

The JAF also added more items such as sugar bags, Pepper, Turmeric, and a few other spices, per Wilkinson.

“Israeli” Redlines

The British activist noted that “Israel” has “banned the entry of seeds into Gaza,” stressing that “all the fruit or dates that enter the Strip have to be pitted - even olives.”

According To Wilkinson, aid planes “can drop supplies only from Rafah to Deir Al-Balah” and cannot fly over north Gaza, because of the “Israeli” presence in the skies.

Jordanian aircraft, however, flew as far as Tal Al-Hawa further north to deliver aid. His Majesty King Abdullah II was personally supervising the operation on the plane.

The Jordanian Armed Forces (JAF) has stepped up its airborne relief operations over the war-stricken Gaza Strip in cooperation with European and Gulf countries; notably France, Germany, UAE, Egypt and Qatar.

King Abdullah II has personally taken part in the emergency air-bridge over Gaza. Tuesday’s airdrop was the 13th by The Royal Jordanian Air Force.

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