PARIS (Reuters) – The French and Jordanian air forces have dropped seven tonnes of urgent humanitarian and medical aid for a field hospital set up in Gaza’s second city, Khan Younis, a French presidency official said on Friday.
Jordan has previously carried out drops in Gaza. It was the first time Paris had directly taken part in such an operation, although it has so far supplied about 1,000 tonnes of aid into the enclave over land.
The airdrops come three months since Hamas militants from Gaza attacked southern Israel, sparking an Israeli offensive that Palestinian health officials say has killed 22,600 people, devastated the enclave and displaced thousands.
A French presidency official said the operation, which took place on Thursday night, involved a French aircraft and a Jordanian plane.
“The humanitarian situation remains critical in Gaza,” President Emmanuel Macron said on X.
“In a difficult context,” France and Jordan delivered by air aid to to the population and those who are bringing them help.”
The official declined to say what exactly was dropped or whether Israel had given the green light to the operation.
Israel had approved a previous Jordanian air-dropped aid mission in November.
Jordan has recalled its ambassador to Israel and told the Israeli ambassador to stay away in protest at the Israeli bombardment of Gaza, saying the attacks had killed innocents and caused a humanitarian catastrophe.
Israel’s humanitarian liaison office COGAT said on Friday the humanitarian situation was stabilising and denied blocking water purifiers, medical supplies and tent poles as stated by sources in Gaza and in an Egyptian Red Crescent document.
(Reporting by Elizabeth Pineau; writing by John Irish; editing by Ingrid Melander)