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Jordan King Abdullah says Gaza aid must be doubled to stem crisis

February 27, 2024 at 3:14 pm

King Abdullah II of Jordan at Al Husseiniya Palace in Amman, Jordan on December 11, 2023 [Royal Hashemite Court (RHC)-Handout/Anadolu Agency]

Jordan’s King Abdullah said, on Tuesday, that humanitarian aid to Gaza must be doubled to prevent deterioration in a hunger crisis affecting over 2 million people, Reuters reports.

The Monarch was quoted by state media as telling visiting USAID chief, Samantha Power, that the international community had to put more pressure on Israel to ease restrictions on the flow of food into the Territory.

Jordan is urging its Western allies to lobby Israel to increase aid coming from the Kingdom via Karm Abu Salem on the border of Egypt, Israel and Gaza, beyond the existing Rafah Crossing, officials say.

The flow of aid entering Gaza from Egypt has declined dramatically in the past few weeks, but Israel has said it is not blocking aid and blames the UN and the Palestinian side for any delays.

Separately, the King arrived at a military air base to oversee the departure of seven C-130 military transport aircraft, three from Jordan and the rest from Egypt, Qatar, France and the UAE, to air drop food parcels along the Gaza coast for a second day.

A diplomat, who was not authorised to speak publicly, said the Monarch was on board one of the Jordanian planes in the second such mission he personally joined this month.

There was no immediate comment from the King’s palace.

The waterproof parcels of ready-made meals were parachuted over several locations along the coast where hundreds of desperate people rushed to collect them.

Jordan, which the UN and Western donors have turned into a regional hub for humanitarian supplies to Gaza, on Monday for the first time carried out four flights, along with the French army, to drop food to thousands of displaced people sheltering on the beach.

Previous air drops that parachuted in medicines and humanitarian provisions were sent to hospitals that the Jordanian army runs in Gaza.

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