Israel blockade on Gaza: Biden says US will drop humanitarian aid packages by air

President Joe Biden said Friday that the United States will begin to shed humanitarian aid from the air over Gaza, a day after more than 100 Palestinians were killed by Israeli soldiers who opened fire on people receiving flour and other food.

The president announced the measure after at least 115 Palestinians were killed and more than 750 wounded in the shooting on Thursday. According to the Gaza Ministry of Health, witnesses explained that Israeli military opened fire as large crowds ran for food and other humanitarian aid items from a convoy.

Biden said airdrops will begin soon and Washington is exploring additional ways to facilitate the delivery of urgent humanitarian aid to Israel’s war-torn territory, to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinians.

“In the coming days we will join our friends in Jordan and others who are providing airdrops of additional food and supplies” and “we will seek to open other avenues, including possibly a maritime corridor,” Biden declared.

The president twice mentioned Ukraine when talking about airdropping aid, but White House officials clarified that he was referring to Gaza.

Israel justified that many of the dead were trampled in a stampede related to the chaos, and that its soldiers shot at people in the crowd because they felt threatened because, according to them, they believed that people were approaching “in a threatening manner.” The Israeli government said it is investigating what happened.

Biden made the announcement while hosting Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni at the White House.

“The aid flowing into Gaza is far from enough,” Biden said. “Now it is not enough at all. Innocent lives are at stake and children’s lives are at stake. We won’t sit still until we get more help there. “We should be receiving hundreds of trucks, not just several.”

For his part, Meloni said that solving the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is Italy’s top priority.

“We need to coordinate our actions to prevent things from escalating, and in this regard we fully support the US mediation efforts.”