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Understand how the US airdrop of aid to Gaza will work

The US military will begin airdrops of food and supplies into Gaza in the coming days, joining other countries such as France, Jordan and Egypt that have done the same.

How would an airdrop of aid work?

The United States will use military aircraft to drop supplies into Gaza. Although it is unclear which type of aircraft will be used, the C-17 and C-130 are best suited for the job. According to the US Air Force, a C-130 can carry 16 pallets, while a C-17 can carry 40.

Military personnel on the ground load the supplies onto pallets, which are then loaded onto planes and locked in place.

As soon as the aircraft passes over the area where the supplies are needed, the lock that keeps them in place is released and they descend to the ground with the help of a parachute attached to the pallet.

What are the risks?

Although military personnel can observe weather patterns in advance, wind plays an important role in ensuring they land where they are supposed to. Videos on social media showed that part of the aid delivered by other countries ended up at sea.

Gaza is densely populated and authorities say it will be difficult to ensure that aid reaches the people who need it and does not end up in an inaccessible location.

“It is extremely difficult to do an airdrop in an environment as crowded as Gaza,” said John Kirby, President Joe Biden’s top national security spokesman.

Officials also say that without a U.S. military presence on the ground, there is no guarantee that aid will not end up in the hands of Hamas.

What are some examples of the latest releases from the United States?

Every year during Christmas, it sends humanitarian aid to remote islands in the Pacific Ocean in an effort known as “Operation Christmas Drop.”

In 2014, the United States military dropped aerial aid into northern Iraq when civilians were trapped by Islamic State fighters. In those few months, more than 100,000 meals and 96,000 bottles of water were released into the air.

What options are being analyzed?

On Friday (1), President Joe Biden told reporters that the US was also studying the possibility of a maritime corridor to deliver large amounts of aid to Gaza.

A U.S. official said one possible option is to send aid across the sea from Cyprus, about 210 nautical miles off the Mediterranean coast of Gaza.

No decision has been made about military involvement in such an operation, the official said, adding that the Israelis were “very receptive” to the sea transport option because it would avoid delays by protesters blocking land passages for aid convoys.

But the reality is that the maritime option using the armed forces is highly challenging, with no clear location where aid can be unloaded from ships.

Source: CNN Brasil

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This article is published in issue 18 of Vanity Fair on newsstands until April 30, 2024. Join your hands proudly.

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