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“Hard mission”: US wants to participate in air support

“Hard mission”: US wants to participate in air support

In the coming days, the US wants to join other countries like Jordan in providing food and other aid. The US also wants to explore the possibility of a shipping route to bring large amounts of aid to the Gaza Strip, Biden said. And he will “press” the Israeli government to allow aid convoys into the Palestinian territories.

The US president has said that aid to the Gaza Strip has so far been “inadequate”. “Innocent lives are at stake, children's lives are at stake.”

The US plans to provide air support

The US wants to deliver aid to civilians in Gaza. Along with Jordan and other countries, food and relief supplies are to be air-dropped.

Kirby: A large-scale action is planned

According to National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, the US government is planning a large-scale operation that is expected to last for several weeks. Dropping relief supplies in such a densely populated area is “extremely difficult.” The Defense Ministry said it faces a “difficult military operation” that must be carefully planned to ensure the safety of American soldiers and Palestinian civilians involved.

Criticism of US plans comes from aid agencies. Richard Cowan of the International Crisis Group told CNN, “While airdrops are good photo opportunities, they're only a temporary relief measure at best.” “While Palestinians in Gaza are being pushed to the brink, dropping a small, symbolic amount of aid to Gaza without a plan for secure delivery will not help,” Oxfam's Scott Paul X said on Twitter.

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Incident of loss of life during aid distribution

Thousands of people gathered around a convoy of 38 aid trucks in Gaza City on Thursday. The Israeli military said there were dozens of deaths and injuries, some of them driven by trucks. An army official admitted to “limited” firing by Israeli soldiers who felt “threatened”.

The radical Islamist group Hamas spoke of a “massacre” in which at least 115 people were killed and more than 750 injured. No independent confirmation. A United Nations team said on Friday it had found scores of people with “gunshot wounds” when it visited al-Shifa hospital in Gaza, said Stephane Dujarric, a spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

The horrific incident drew international condemnation and criticism. There have been calls for a full investigation – as well as renewed calls for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

Continue the struggle for a ceasefire

Biden said Friday after his meeting with Meloni that he hoped a ceasefire would come before the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. “I believe, we're still working hard,” he said in response to reporters as he left the White House. “We're not there yet.” Ramadan starts on March 10 or 11 this year.

Earlier in the week, Biden said he hoped for a ceasefire between the Israeli military and the radical Islamist Palestinian group Hamas by next Monday. The president later admitted that was unlikely.

The government of the Gulf emirate of Qatar has said that the aim is for the ceasefire to take effect before the start of Ramadan. Along with the US and Egypt, Qatar is one of the mediators in the difficult ceasefire negotiations.

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Reports of ongoing sanctions

News website Axios recently reported that Israel also does not want to participate in a new round of talks led by Egypt, Qatar and the United States unless Hamas provides a list of hostages still alive. Hamas has yet to respond to the number of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails proposed by mediators that Israel would release in exchange for the release of a certain number of hostages.

All these questions remain unanswered after three days of talks in the Qatari capital Doha, the portal reported, citing an unnamed Israeli official.