Biden announces US aid air drops in Gaza

Says ‘we need to do more, and the United States will do more’

WASHINGTON  -  President Joe Biden said Friday that the United States would start to de­liver relief supplies from the air into Gaza, a day after the deaths of more than 100 Palestinians at an aid con­voy. “We need to do more, and the United States will do more,” Biden told reporters at the White House at the start of a meeting with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

“In the coming days we’re going to join with our friends in Jordan and others in providing air drops of additional food and supplies,” the 81-year-old Biden said in the Oval Office. The announcement comes as negotiations continue for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, amid a humanitarian crisis in Gaza which has been under siege since Hamas’s October 7 attacks on Israel.

Biden has pushed Israel to reduce civilian casualties and allow aid in, while at the same time he has main­tained military assistance for the key US ally. Biden said later he was “hop­ing” for a deal on a six-week ceasefire by the Muslim holy month of Rama­dan, which will start on March 10 or 11, depending on the lunar calendar. “We’ll get there but we’re not there yet -- we may not get there,” Biden added, without elaborating, as he headed to his helicopter to spend the weekend at the presidential Camp David retreat. Ceasefire talks have been complicated by Thursday’s incident in which doz­ens of desperate Palestinians were killed rushing an aid convoy in north­ern Gaza, where the UN has warned of famine. An Israeli source acknowl­edged troops had opened fire on the crowd, believing it “posed a threat.”

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