US denies responsibility for airdrop that killed 5 in Gaza, including two young boys

A spokesperson for the US State Department said that ‘every reasonable precaution’ was taken with airdrops to ensure the safety of the public

Mike Bedigan
Mike Bedigan
Saturday 09 March 2024 00:27 GMT
Moment US military airdrops aid into Gaza

The US State Department has denied responsibility for an airdrop that reportedly killed five civilians – including two young boys – in Gaza.

A spokesperson for the department said that “every reasonable precaution” was taken with airdrops to ensure the safety of the public.

The incident reportedly occurred on Friday in the Al Shati camp west of Gaza City, according to a journalist on the scene, per CNN. At least five people were killed and 10 others injured when airdropped aid packages fell on them.

It is believed the chutes on the packages did not open properly. Muhammad Al-Sheikh, Head of Emergency Care Department at Al Shifa Medical Complex in Gaza City confirmed to CNN that five people were killed in the incident.

“We express our condolences to the families of those who were killed,” a spokesperson for the State Department said in a statement shared with media outlets. “Our understanding is that this was not a US airdrop.”

(AFP via Getty Images)

The statement continued: “As we said earlier this week, these are complex and tough missions to do because so many parameters have to be exactly right. We always learn from these incidents and try to improve.

“We take every reasonable precaution to avoid injuries, including limiting the weight of the pallets, identifying drop-zones in less-populated areas, and the sending of safety messages to the population prior to the air drop.”

Footage shared on social media showed a cluster of parcels suspended from parachutes descending. One package drops much faster than the rest towards a residential building.

The incident comes less than a week after the US military began dropping aid packages into Gaza. The drops have been coordinated with the Royal Jordanian Air Force, with the first – which took place on Saturday – delivering 38,000 meals along the Gaza coastline.

On Thursday, during his State of the Union address, Joe Biden announced that the military would help establish a temporary pier aimed at boosting the amount of aid getting into the territory.

“The amount of aid flowing to Gaza is not nearly enough and we will continue to pull out every stop we can to get more aid in,” Mr Biden said previously in a post on X.

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