News   /   Palestine   /   Viewpoint   /   Viewpoints

Biden admin. airdrops aid over Gaza while aiding and abetting Israeli genocide

By Wesam Bahrani

Amid warnings by the United Nations of a looming famine in the blockaded Gaza Strip, which the United States enabled for nearly five months, Washington has now embarked on a new public relations campaign. 

Three American military aircraft airdropped about 36,000 food parcels over a tiny region with a 2.3 million population, which has been reeling under US-backed Israeli bombings since October 7.

Unsurprisingly, US military cameras were on standby to capture the moment when the aid was being loaded into the aircraft at night and the cargo later dropped from the sky. 

Many rightly saw it as a photo opportunity to mitigate domestic and international public anger for Washington's direct complicity in the worst humanitarian catastrophe currently unfolding in Gaza.  

The flashlights were switched on to add that extra dramatic Hollywood-style war element to the whole charade with soldiers loading the cargo on a C-130 Hercules military jet in the middle of the night. 

The US Central Command published the videos for global news media outlets, many of whom played along by broadcasting the war-like footage. 

The Biden administration tried to get a message across that the US military is helping to ease the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza while being the mastermind and architect of their colossal tragedy.

The US cargo landed along the Gaza coast. Some in the sea itself and for each US food parcel, hundreds of starving and desperate Palestinians rushed to get a hold of it, drawing criticism from aid agencies and rights groups. 

Tens of thousands of others walked back to their makeshift tents, hungry and traumatized. For five months, they have been struggling to survive amid relentless bombings and crippling siege.  

The US airdrops of food were inefficient because only small amounts of aid can be dropped at a time from a plane in what was a major operation for all the wrong reasons. 

It is another dark stain in the history books for the US, which has allowed the Israeli regime to kill and starve families instead of applying pressure on Tel Aviv to at least turn the water taps back on.

If the White House was serious about helping the starving Palestinians, Biden could ring Tel Aviv and force the regime to open the land crossings to Gaza for real aid to enter, a key demand of UN agencies.

However, that is not the case. The US is directly aiding and abetting this genocide.

Historically, in cases such as the Second World War, airdrops were used as a last resort. It shouldn't be a last resort for Gaza today where the large majority of the 2.3 million Palestinians are on the verge of famine – or deliberate starvation – while food and water are a few kilometers away. 

The Biden administration reportedly sent three C-130 Hercules aircraft over Gaza. One military cargo plane holds the equivalent of one truckload of aid. 

We keep hearing that Gaza needs an estimated 500 trucks of aid every day at minimum. 500 trucks of aid is the pre-war figure that wasn't enough then. The trucks required today to feed the starving people of Gaza is much higher. 

Yet 500 trucks are waiting just across the border in Egypt to enter Gaza and the Israeli regime with America's backing is preventing them from crossing. 

They are opting instead for airdrops, which may come across as compassionate to some watching on TV but the reality is it degrades Palestinians who have been devalued as human beings for nearly five months now.

Rightly so, the US measures have backfired, drawing sharp criticism from aid agencies and rights groups. 

"Instead of dropping packages from the sky – some of which end up in the sea or outside of Gaza and which the most vulnerable cannot reach in any case - the US, the UK and others should ensure that Israel immediately opens all crossings into Gaza for aid and aid workers to assist those in need,” Medical Aid for Palestinians said in a statement.

The International Rescue Committee said, "Airdrops are not the solution to relieve this suffering, and distract time and effort from proven solutions to help at scale."

What makes this remarkably shameful for the Biden administration is that not only has the White House enabled starvation to be used as a weapon of war in Gaza (collective punishment is a war crime), but it is American weapons that have murdered and starved the Palestinians. 

The Israeli war on Gaza is enabled by arms made in the US, which is pulling the strings in the war on the besieged territory and using its veto power at the UN Security Council to avoid a ceasefire. 

These airdrops are also inaccurate as the US military has no control over precisely where the cargo will fall, leaving the dangerously large pallets parachuted off the back of planes to potentially land on a crowd of people in what is a very densely populated strip. 

And if they land in the sea, there is a serious risk of Israeli warships shooting at Palestinians desperate to collect them, with similar deadly incidents happening many times in the recent past. 

The UN has warned that famine in Gaza is inevitable unless aid deliveries increase significantly, with a quarter of the 2.3 million population "one step away from starvation".

Starvation has already started to take the lives of Palestinian children. The World Health Organization data shows at least ten children have been "officially registered in a hospital as having starved to death". 

Highlighting the crisis in Gaza, a WHO spokesperson said "The unofficial number can unfortunately be higher".   

The footage from Gaza looks like a powerful natural disaster has hit the territory. But this is nothing natural. The latest decision by the Biden administration highlights how much of a US-Israeli man-made disaster the Gaza Strip has become. 

This is despite reports surfacing of Palestinians eating animal feed to survive and children dying from starvation as a result of malnutrition and dehydration.  

Wesam Bahrani is an Iraqi journalist and commentator.

(The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV.)

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku