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Airdrops illustrate what a disaster Gaza is

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Airdrops are a last resort. They are ineffective, inaccurate, expensive and dangerous.

They are only chosen as an option when the situation is truly desperate.

The White House spokesperson admitted this just after President Biden announced that America would carry out airdrops In Gaza.

“There is no mission more complicated than humanitarian aid drops,” said Adm. John Kirby.

Mr. Biden’s decision is all the more remarkable as America abandons aid to counter the consequences of a war fought with American weapons by one of its closest allies. This is a war led by Israel and enabled by America.

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Sky’s US correspondent Mark Stone explains.

This is not Mount Sinjar in Iraq, where the US military dropped aid into a city besieged by the Islamic State in 2014. This is not Berlin in 1948, under blockade by the Soviet Union .

Israel exercises near-total military control over most of the Gaza Strip. Israel controls the aid that reaches Gaza. It arrives through only two crossing points in the south and in totally insufficient quantities, according to humanitarian agencies and the UN.

The Erez crossing in the north of the Gaza Strip, where people are believed to be on the verge of starvation, is closed.

And yet, the Israeli army, with its own supplies, enters and leaves Gaza daily through several crossing points.

Israel’s security minister said this week that the transfer of humanitarian aid to Gaza is “madness while the abductees are still detained.” A clear call for collective punishment of a desperate population.

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The US decision to drop aid into Gaza is a tacit admission of a fundamental failure.

It is also unlikely to do much to alleviate the humanitarian disaster.

Airdrops are ineffective because only small amounts of aid can be dropped at a time – pallets of food parachuted into the back of planes.

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They are inaccurate because you have no control over exactly where the aid goes.

They are dangerous because relief workers could hit people when they arrive and cause stampedes on the ground. Usually, aid is distributed with the coordination of aid officials on the ground.

They are expensive because they require significant coordination from the Air Force.

In short, it is a stark illustration of the scale of the (man-made) disaster that Gaza currently represents.

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