Pentagon Denies Reports US Airdrops Killed 5 Palestinians

Pentagon Press Secretary U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder conducts a press briefing at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., March 8, 2024. (DoD photo by Joseph Clark)

The Pentagon denied reports emerging Friday that U.S. airdrops of humanitarian aid over Gaza malfunctioned, causing several injuries and deaths.

Reports coming out of Gaza said the falling aid packages struck and killed at least five Palestinians and injured others after the parachute mechanism failed, according to The Jerusalem Post. Pentagon officials denied the reports on Friday as officials seek to expand ways to deliver humanitarian aid to people in Gaza while continuing to support Israel’s fight against the Gaza-based Hamas terrorist organization.

“Reports of injuries in Gaza from a U.S. airdropped aid box are false,” the Pentagon said in a statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“We can confirm that the U.S. did not cause fatalities during our aid drop in Gaza,” a defense official told the DCNF separately.

A video circulating on social media claiming to depict the incident shows a military aircraft deploying aid packages in an open area surrounded by concrete multi-story buildings and rubble. In the video, the packages crash to the ground restrained only by half-inflated parachutes as Palestinians rush to avoid the boxes.

Another video shows a few of the boxes falling from the aircraft while parachutes attached to the remaining boxes from the same drop inflate correctly.

Images from the airdrop appear to show C-17 aircraft, according to Chris Gordon, Pentagon editor at the Air and Space Forces Magazine.

The U.S. has used C-130 transport aircraft to deliver the airdrops, according to announcements from U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM).

Politico and Task and Purpose also reported the Pentagon denied reports that the Palestinian deaths and injuries were connected to U.S. airdrops. “Our pallets landed successfully,” a DOD official told a Politico reporter. The U.S. conducted a fourth airdrop on Friday, Task and Purpose reported, citing a U.S. official who denied the falling packages killed anyone.

“We do not believe these deaths to be a result from U.S. air drops,” the official told Task and Purpose.

 

U.S. C-130s have dropped more than 112,800 meals into Gaza over three separate airdrops on March 2March 5 and March 7, according to statements.

President Joe Biden announced plans for the U.S. military to build a temporary port off the Gazan coast to expand aid deliveries during his State of the Union speech Thursday.

“A temporary pier would enable a massive increase in the amount of humanitarian assistance getting into Gaza every day,” Biden said. “And Israel must also do its part. Israel must allow more aid into Gaza and ensure that humanitarian workers aren’t caught in the cross fire.”

Micaela Burrow on March 8, 2024


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