US humanitarian aid airdrops into Gaza will begin "very soon" says Biden

Washington, DC [US], March 2 (ANI): President Joe Biden announced the initiation of US airdrops of humanitarian assistance into Gaza, stating that they will commence "very soon," CNN reported.

The decision comes in the wake of Biden’s commitment to airdrop food aid to the people of Gaza, with a determination to deploy every available resource to ensure additional supplies reach the region.

During discussions in the Oval Office, Biden provided a mixed assessment of the ongoing hostage talks between Israel and Hamas. Expressing hope for a potential deal by Ramadan, he also acknowledged the possibility that an agreement "may not get there," as reported by CNN.

Responding to queries about a potential ceasefire by Monday, a date previously suggested by Biden, he conceded that achieving such an outcome seemed unlikely at the moment.

"It looks like we’re still -- it’s not there yet. I think we’ll get there, but it’s not there yet. And it may not get there now," Biden remarked, offering a realistic view of the challenges involved in brokering an agreement between Israel and Hamas. He maintained optimism, stating, "It’s not over til it’s over."President Biden emphasised ongoing efforts to secure a deal for the release of hostages, urging an "immediate ceasefire" between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. He revealed ongoing negotiations aiming for a six-week pause in fighting, coupled with facilitating aid surges to Gaza.

During the meeting with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, Biden stressed the importance of adding more trucks and routes to ensure the efficient delivery of aid to the people in Gaza.

"We’re going to insist that Israel facilitate more trucks and more routes to get more and more people the help they need, no excuses," Biden asserted.

The recent tragedy in Gaza, where at least 115 people were killed and 760 injured as Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinian civilians waiting for food, has intensified calls for an independent inquiry, according to CNN.

Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesperson for the Palestinian health ministry, described it as one of the single deadliest incidents since the commencement of Israel’s war against Hamas on October 7.

The United Nations has joined the chorus, demanding an independent investigation into the incident. Various nations, including France, have backed this appeal. The White House echoed the call, stating its belief that Israel should investigate the deaths and expressing confidence in Israel’s commitment to a thorough inquiry.

"We’ve asked the government of Israel to investigate, and it’s our assessment that they’re taking this seriously and they are looking into what occurred, so as to avoid tragedies like this from happening again," said National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby during a news briefing.

Kirby highlighted Israel’s history of investigating incidents and their openness about mistakes. However, no specific timeline was provided for the completion of the investigation, CNN reported. (ANI)