Israel-Hamas war: US, Jordan air-drop aid to Gaza residents

The latest drop by parachute included rice, flour, pasta and canned food for thousands of displaced Palestinians. Meanwhile, Lebanese media reported five killed in an Israeli strike

The US military and Jordan parachuted in more than 11,500 meals to Gaza on Sunday, the US military said. (photo: DW)
The US military and Jordan parachuted in more than 11,500 meals to Gaza on Sunday, the US military said. (photo: DW)


  • The US is sending an army vessel to the Eastern Mediterranean as it prepares to set up a temporary port to provide Gaza with aid

  • US President Joe Biden said he believed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was "hurting Israel" with his approach to the Gaza war

  • The US and Jordan have air-dropped a 6th round of food aid to Palestinians in Gaza

  • Lebanon's state media has reported five deaths and nine injuries due to an Israeli strike on the south of the country

Netanyahu says Biden 'wrong' in critique of war policy

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected US President Joe Biden's comment that Israel's approach to the war in Gaza was "hurting Israel more than helping Israel."

In an interview with Politico, Netanyahu said he didn't know "exactly what the president meant."

"If he meant by that that I'm pursuing private policies against the majority, the wish of the majority of Israelis, and that this is hurting the interests of Israel, then he's wrong on both counts," the news outlet quoted him as saying.

The Israeli leader also vowed to press ahead with a ground operation of Rafah and repeated his rejection of the possibility of a Palestinian state.

In an interview Saturday with US news outlet MSNBC Biden said Netanyahu "must pay more attention to the innocent lives being lost as a consequence of the actions taken."

Biden described the death toll in Gaza, which has reached over 30,000, according to the Hamas-run health ministry, as "contrary to what Israel stands for."

Scholz wants Gaza cease-fire during Ramadan

In a pre-Ramadan video address, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has urged a longer-lasting cease-fire in Gaza.

"Such a cease-fire should ensure that the Israeli hostages are finally released and that more humanitarian aid finally arrives in Gaza," he said.

The German leader said he was sure the majority of Israelis and Palestinians wanted peace.

He expressed concern over the growing anxiety among Muslims in Germany regarding social cohesion, particularly in light of reported far-right deportation plans.

"I think our response to this must be very clear: We will not allow ourselves to be divided as a country!"

Scholz affirmed the equal belonging of native-born and immigrant citizens in Germany.

The daytime fasting month of Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam. Observant Muslims refrain from eating and drinking from dawn to dusk, and traditionally gather with family and friends to break their fast in the evening.

This year, the month of fasting is overshadowed by developments in Gaza.

"Many people in Germany are also deeply affected by the suffering of the murdered and abducted Israelis and the fate of the innocent people killed, wounded and suffering in Gaza," Scholz said.

Ship with Gaza aid to set sail from Cyprus within hours

A ship carrying tons of food aid for Gaza was expected to set sail from the Cypriot port of Larnaca within hours, DW's Rosie Birchard reported Sunday.

The Open Arms, a salvage vessel, plans to tow a barge with 200 tons of food, including "things like flour, rice, protein like canned tuna, and of course, we know that is much needed in Gaza," Birchard said in a live interview from Larnaca.

She said authorities in Cyprus had given the ship, carrying food provided by US charity World Central Kitchen, permission to depart on the new sea route opened this week to allow aid to sail directly from Cyprus.

"We have finished the inspection and loading of the vessel — the Open Arms vessel — and the platform they are using, so the most important part is that everything is ready, permissions have been granted, and now it is a scheduling issue for the NGO that is handling this issue," Theodoros Gotsis, a Cypriot foreign affairs spokesperson told DW.

He particularly echoed warnings of an Israeli invasion of the Gaza city of Rafah, where over 1.3 million Palestinians are sheltering, having fled from other parts of the strip during the past five months.

The only remaining obstacle is the go-ahead from the organization in Gaza that will receive and distribute the aid.

Birchard said Israel has welcomed the new sea route, but the United Nations has said it cannot replace open land borders.

"Officials here are hoping they can ramp up this corridor over the next few weeks to see this voyage really seen as a test for trying to get this done," Birchard added.

US, Jordan air-drop more aid to Gaza

The United States and Jordan carried out a new air-drop of humanitarian aid into northern Gaza on Sunday, the US military said.

The aid included rice, flour, pasta and canned food — enough for more than 11,500 meals.

The air-drop delivery by the US and other nations comes after Israel delayed the delivery of aid by ground.

The amount of aid brought into Gaza has plummeted during five months of war and residents are facing dire shortages of food, water and medicine.

The US has dropped around 135,000 meals to Palestinians in Gaza this month, according to Pentagon data.

Israel's Herzog urges fight against antisemitism at Holocaust museum opening

Israeli President Isaac Herzog said that antisemitism is on the rise during an event in Amsterdam to inaugurate the Netherlands' new National Holocaust Museum.

"Hatred and antisemitism are flourishing worldwide, and we must fight it together," Herzog said.

Meanwhile, thousands of people showed up to a protest organized by pro-Palestinian groups and Jewish anti-Zionist groups in central Amsterdam.

The protesters condemned Herzog's presence at the event due to the Israeli military offensive in Gaza, where more than 30,000 Palestinians have died, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry.

Attendees chanted slogans including "Cease-fire now" and "Stop bombing children." Others held posters that read "Jews against genocide," among other things.

Gaza health authorities report death toll at 31,045

At least 31,045 people have been killed in the Gaza Strip since the start of the war, according to the Health Ministry in the Hamas-run territory.

The ministry said that 85 people in the Palestinian enclave died over the past 24 hours.

It said that 72,654 people had been wounded since the start of the war, which began on October 7 when Hamas militants attacked southern Israel.

The ministry does not differentiate between combatants and civilians but says two-thirds of the dead are women and children.

Israel's Herzog to visit Amsterdam Holocaust museum, protests announced

Israeli President Isaac Herzog is set to attend the opening of the National Holocaust Museum in Amsterdam alongside Dutch officials on Sunday.

Pro-Palestinian groups and mosques have announced protests against the visit, citing Herzog's controversial statements on the war in Gaza.

In October, Herzog said that it was not only militants but "an entire nation" that was responsible for Hamas' attacks in southern Israel. Earlier this year, Herzog's comments were cited in a lawsuit brought by South Africa to the International Criminal Court, a case the Israeli president described as "blood libel."

Other guests expected to attend the museum's opening include Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Prime Minister Mark Rutte, as well as Austrian President Alexander van der Bellen and Manuela Schwesig, the premier of Germany's northeastern state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

Germany's Habeck says Israel should change 'strategy' in Gaza

German Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Robert Habeck has urged Israel to change its way of operating in Gaza.

"Israel must change its strategy in the Gaza Strip," he told reporters in New York following a meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

"That doesn't mean Israel shouldn't fight Hamas, but the number of civilian casualties is too high," he said.

He said that Germany cannot accept a complete lack of protection for civilians. He said that the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, which included the risk of famine, showed "untenable conditions."

Habeck also said that Muslim-majority countries had been reserved in their criticism of Israel or had even showed willingness to engage in dialogue.

Habeck's remarks echoed earlier comments by US President Joe Biden, who said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was "hurting Israel" and urged him to "pay more attention to the innocent lives being lost as a consequence of the actions taken."

The German vice chancellor said that he supported Biden's comments and found that they came from a place of "solidarity with Israel."

Biden says Netanyahu 'hurting Israel' with Gaza tactics

US President Joe Biden said he believed that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was "hurting Israel more than helping Israel" with his approach to the war in Gaza.

"I'm never going to leave Israel. The defense of Israel is still critical," Biden said in an interview with US outlet MSNBC, when asked whether there was a red line for Israel.

"So there's no red line [in which] I am going to cut off all weapons so they don't have the Iron Dome to protect them," he added, in reference to Israel's air defense system.

"But there are red lines that if you cross," Biden said, before changing course to add: "You cannot have 30,000 more Palestinians dead as a consequence of going after [Hamas.] There's other ways to deal with… the trauma caused by Hamas."

Hamas is designated as a terrorist organization by several countries including the US, Israel and Germany.

The US president addressed Netanyahu, saying that "he must pay more attention to the innocent lives being lost as a consequence of the actions taken."

Biden described the death toll in Gaza, which has reached 30,960 as per the Hamas-run health ministry, as "contrary to what Israel stands for."

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Published: 11 Mar 2024, 8:29 AM