The White House announced early Tuesday morning that the military plans to fly humanitarian aid to Egypt, which can be used to aid Gaza during Hamas' cease-fire with Israel.
The first of the three relief flights is expected to arrive in the North Sinai of Egypt Tuesday. The Biden administration says that the aid will include medical items and food. This aid is expected to be delivered by United Nations relief workers.
"Today, the United States airlifted over 54,000 pounds of medical items and food aid to the humanitarian logistics hub in Egypt for delivery for civilians in Gaza," said U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. "These UN supplies will save lives and alleviate the suffering of thousands in Gaza."
Additional flights are expected to include more food and medical aid, as well as winter clothing.
A senior administration official told reporters that the relief is “nowhere near enough for normal life in Gaza," as the U.S. pushes to restore the flow of more commercial goods into Gaza. The Biden administration said it has been in discussions with Israel over getting more commercial goods into the region.
The U.S. said the aid is not tied to a recent pause in hostilities brokered between Israel and Hamas. Tuesday is the fifth day of a cease-fire that has resulted in the release of dozens of Israelis held by Hamas.
During the pause, officials said 240 trucks per day have entered Gaza, with significant amounts of fuel being included.
U.S. officials also noted that after Israel forced Gazans out of Gaza City and areas of northern Gaza, the type of displacement seen there could not be replicated in the south. The Biden administration said the displacement would be at a scale that humanitarian efforts would be unable to cope with.
Any fighting in the south would need to be designed to reduce significant further displacement, the White House said.
"Our team has prioritized getting this much-needed relief into Gaza to alleviate the suffering of Palestinian civilians there. Of course, most of them have nothing to do with Hamas," said National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby.
The World Health Organization previously said 1.5 million people have been displaced in Gaza, many of whom are living in "severely overcrowded" shelters.
The humanitarian crisis has been exacerbated by hostilities in the region after Hamas terrorists launched an attack in Israel that targeted civilians on Oct. 7. Israel responded by bombing targets in Gaza as Israel told Gaza residents to flee.
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