C-17 makes first US military delivery of aid supplies bound for Gaza
Stars and Stripes November 29, 2023
More than 54,000 pounds of humanitarian relief supplies delivered to Egypt this week by a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster will be transported by land into Gaza, according to the Pentagon.
The delivery included medical equipment, clothing and food. It is the first of numerous such military flights expected in the days ahead, Defense Department spokesman Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said Tuesday.
The latest aid comes on top of more than 500,000 pounds of food assistance delivered by the United States last week, an effort coordinated by aircraft contracted with the U.S. Agency for International Development.
About 1.7 million people have been internally displaced by the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, and more than 2 million need humanitarian assistance, USAID said in a statement Tuesday.
The arrival of the humanitarian supplies comes during a pause in the fighting in Gaza so that hostages held by Hamas can be released. Israel also is releasing Palestinian prisoners as part of the temporary cease-fire.
U.S. officials, including President Joe Biden, have expressed hope that the pause can be extended so more hostages can be released.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken, speaking at the opening of a NATO foreign ministers meeting in Brussels on Tuesday, said the halt in the fighting was a positive development.
“I’m very pleased to see hostages returning home, coming back to be with their loved ones,” he said. “And we’re determined to continue that for as long as possible to bring as many people home as we possibly can.”