Belgian humanitarian aid en route to Gaza Strip

The Belgian army sent a plane carrying humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip on Monday afternoon. The A400M aircraft will drop the supplies later this week after a stopover in Jordan.

Belgium announced on Friday that it would send 500,000 euros of humanitarian aid to be airdropped over Gaza. The packages will be prepared in Jordan, where both Jordanian and Israeli authorities will inspect the shipments.

Belgian air and land forces will remain in Jordan at least until the end of the week to support similar operations by international allies, as the aircraft will also carry out airdrops of foreign goods.

Colonel Bruno Beeckmans said the cooperation between Belgium and Jordan was good and transparent. Some 40 Belgian military personnel will support the operations on the ground.

The Gaza Strip has limited access to humanitarian aid due to Israeli blockades. UN agencies have warned of a possible famine in the region.

Belgium's Development minister, Caroline Gennez, described the operation as a cry for help. "This is not a durable solution, but a symbolic operation with the courage of despair," she said. "Israel is not allowing enough aid in, but we owe it to ourselves and the Palestinians to do everything we can."


Hadja Lahbib, minister of Foreign Affairs, Ludivine Dedonder, minister of Defence, and Caroline Gennez, minister for Development Cooperation, inspect the cargo of an emergency airdrop of aid to Gaza on 4 March © BELGA PHOTO JONAS ROOSENS

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