Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : UK participates in largest international airdrop into Gaza [April 2024]

The press release issued by the Ministry of Defence on 9 April 2024.

The Royal Air Force participated in a large-scale international aid airdrop into Gaza on Tuesday (9 April 2024) to coincide with Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan.

Collectively delivering hundreds of tonnes of aid, this was the largest airdrop of aid into Gaza on a single day and the culmination of careful planning alongside international partners to ensure the complex mission could be conducted safely and effectively.

Led by the Jordanian Armed Forces, the international operation saw 9 nations* and 14 aircraft drop essential aid.

An RAF A400M flew this morning from Amman, Jordan to airdrop over 10 tonnes of aid, including ready-to-eat meals, water and rice, along the northern coastline of Gaza. The flight took around an hour with other nations’ aircraft dropping aid throughout the course of the day. The A400M Atlas and crew are based at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire with both RAF and British Army personnel supporting the operation in Jordan. Over the last two weeks they have dropped over 53 tonnes of aid on six flights.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said:

The prospect of famine in Gaza is real and today’s international airdrop will provide life-saving food supplies for civilians.

This is the sixth RAF airdrop in recent weeks, delivering over 53 tonnes of aid, including water, flour and baby formula.

After six months of war in Gaza, the toll on civilians continues to grow. We continue to stand by Israel’s right to defeat the threat from Hamas terrorists, who have failed the people of Gaza and hide behind civilians. This terrible conflict must end. The hostages must be released and the aid must flood in.

Today’s international airdrop is part of UK efforts to provide vital humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza and follows the announcement of a package of military and civilian support to set up a maritime aid corridor to Gaza. This includes the deployment of a Royal Navy ship to the Eastern Mediterranean as well as up to £9.7 million for aid deliveries.

The maritime corridor initiative will see tens of thousands of tonnes of aid pre-screened in Cyprus and delivered directly to Gaza, via a new US temporary pier being constructed off the coast or via Ashdod Port, which Israel has now agreed to open.

The UK is also focused on ensuring more aid can enter Gaza by land, and deliveries will be scaled up with the opening of the Erez crossing. In partnership with the World Food Programme, the UK’s largest delivery of aid – more than 2,000 tonnes of food aid – crossed the border on 13 March.

Foreign Secretary David Cameron said:

Led by our Jordanian partners, we have joined nations around the world to mark the end of Ramadan by getting life-saving aid into Gaza. Thousands of people in desperate need will benefit from this united effort.

The UK remains ready to play its part in getting supplies in by land, air and sea, but the people of Gaza need more.

We continue to push Israel as hard as we can to get more aid across the border and delivered throughout the region. Words must turn into action – this is essential to avoid an even more severe humanitarian crisis.

Sunday marked 6 months since the devastating October 7 terrorist attacks, and almost a week since British aid workers were killed trying to get life-saving food to those in need. The UK continues to call for an immediate humanitarian pause leading to a sustainable ceasefire, as the fastest way to get hostages safely home and more aid in.